Astronomy is the one thing that consistently soothes me, comforts me, stimulates my imagination, stirs my sense of the numinous.
I post these to share that with you, my friends. I hope you feel some of that, too.
When I was a boy, my first love was the sky. Our first nights together went like this: I would set my alarm to go off at two in the morning so I could lug my telescope out of the garage (where it was cooling) into the Minnesota winter night. I would haul this thing - 80 pounds of cast aluminum and Pyrex glass and white-painted fiberglas - hundreds of yards through knee-deep snow into a truly dark area where I would set up and observe until the mirrors frosted over or the sun rose, whichever came first. These meetings were my greatest joy - a quiet joy, with very little laughing aloud, though I did smile and sigh and, yes, sometimes laugh alone in the dark, far from the lights of home and miles from town. For a long time, that was my only joy.
I've had several loves since, but none has remained in my heart for quite so long as the night sky. Our trysts are rarer now than when we first met, but we drop right into the heat of things as soon as we embrace.