Holiday Lessons: One

Some things are worth the wait.

It starts with the possibility of an interesting experience. There’s a meteor shower tonight, do you want to watch it?

Yeah. Sounds good. What time is it on?

It doesn’t work like that. You have to watch and wait. You come and sit outside, and wait, and look at the mountains and the river and mostly at the sky. And then if you’re lucky you’ll see the Perseid Meteor Shower.

What’s that? ….

The bats come first, swooping in out of the darkening night sky. Then we talk about twilight, and dusk, and the difference between the two, which is fun to try and work out. The Moon and the North Star rise. The Moon has been shy of late. We saw it huge and low and orange in England, but it disappeared when we arrived in Portugal. Now it’s back. At last it’s dark, and the rest of the stars come out, a handful at a time. The Big Dipper makes its pattern. We sit, and we talk about the shape of the universe and whether it’s all just made of bubbles. I make a mental note to get a star chart.

How long now, mummy? It’s making my eyes go fuzzy staring at the stars all the time. Then Bang!, over there! a meteor explodes to our left (or ‘air detonates’ according to my son).  After that things go quiet for a while. Tiredness sets in, we sit, and we look, and we stick it out and spend a long time talking about what meteors are. It might be we don’t see any more I say.

Then after the very longest wait we see a trio of flashes, and Holiday Lesson One is underway.

Some things are worth the wait.

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