Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Magical Year of the Comet

1. I was reflecting today upon the wondrous Hale-Bopp comet that appeared in 1997. I had just finished my freshman year of high school. I remember thinking that the comet was "cool." But thinking about it again today, I realize that I took the comet for granted. I recall it in my mind's eye, in the Northern part of the sky, just above the horizon, overlooking the tomato plants and grapevines from the Andelin's garden. I'm sure I didn't appreciate it's shiny head and dusty tail nearly enough as I ought to have done. It's true how absence makes the hard grow fonder. Come back comet Hale-Bopp! I just want to see you one more time.

2. I spent much of my childhood thinking and acting in ways to promote my superiority over other children. In the third grade I saw Saturn, in all it's showy glory, through the lens of my Dad's telescope. He had just gotten home from delivering a baby at the hospital and must have seen it, glowing and radiant in the morning sky, so he pulled out the telescope, honed in on the planet and woke his sleeping children to show it to them. I recall the wonder I felt. It looked like a little golden pendant in the sky, and the little rings around it! Oh, it was true! Saturn really does have rings! I went to school the next day and bragged all about it.

3. My junior year of high school I was the co-president of the Astronomy club, I know in telling that story to others, I usually say I was the president, but I just remembered today that Canon Luerkins was the actual president because he wanted that to go on his college application, so I let him.
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