I always sleep well after a night out.

By “night out,” I don’t mean an evening of wining and dining and dancing. Those days are long gone. Instead, I’m talking about setting my alarm for the middle of the night, slipping out the back door, and sitting out on the deck, wrapped up in a blanket, and staring at the sky.

It’s that time of year again, when the Perseid Meteor Shower makes its annual August appearance. This year was promised to be a grand one, since a new moon meant there wouldn’t be any moonlight competing with the light from shooting stars flying across the sky. The show lasts for several weeks, but the past few nights were the peak nights for watching.

I went out around midnight a few other nights, but didn’t have much luck. It was cloudy, and if I can’t see any regular stars in the sky, I don’t bother staying out looking for meteors. Two nights ago, I saw a few while I was out just after midnight, and since last night was to be the best night for viewing, I set my alarm for 3:30. The best time to watch was said to be between midnight and dawn, so I figured the later I went out, the more likely I was to catch the best views.

And I was right. It took about ten minutes before I saw anything of note, but after that I saw a fair number of shooting stars, of varying length and intensity. And with a backdrop of the sound of crickets chirping and an occasional fish breaking the surface of the lake nearby, it was a very soothing and relaxing way to spend the time.

At several points, I considered staying out all night, and just drifting off to sleep while stargazing. But I knew how sore I would be when I woke up in the morning, so I eventually forced myself to get up and drag myself back into the house. As pleasant as it was outside, it still felt good to climb into my warm, comfortable bed.

I fell asleep quickly, and slept till almost 9:30 this morning, which was understandable since I stayed up till a little after midnight, then got up again at 3:30, and finally got back into bed about an hour later.

Even though I usually do this only twice a year – during the Perseids in August and again for the Geminid Meteor Shower in December – there will probably come a time when I decide I’m getting too old for this, and need a night of uninterrupted sleep more than I need to be watching the sky for shooting stars.

Fortunately, that time hasn’t come yet. And for that, I thank my lucky stars.

August 13, 2021
©Betty Liedtke, 2021

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