Stargazing

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I feel like I’ve finally hit my stride here at SVU. I’ve found the perfect balance of work and play, and it feels awesome. Last semester, I’ll admit, I didn’t find my groove as well as I’d hoped. It was either work all day or play all day. Mostly work. And honestly, it wasn’t too beneficial. But I’ve found the perfect balance this semester. It’s kind of ironic, considering last semester I was taking only 15 credits, and this semester I’m taking 20 credits. You’d think I’d be stuck inside studying all day, and while that’s the case at times (like today… studying for an America & the Enlightenment midterm), it’s been pretty great.

Last night, after some plans fell through and I had just settled down to making notecards while watching the latest episode of Bones (David Boreanaz and John Francis Daley anyone?) when I got a text message from a friend. It was rather cryptic: “Grab a blanket and maybe a pillow and meet me in front of Main.” I was pretty confused, asking, “Right now?” I got an immediate response, “Yup. Meet ya there.”

We met up with another friend and went on an adventure to find a spot to stargaze. Somehow, although we all know BV while driving, none of us can find our way around on foot. It took like 45 minutes to find Laurel Park, but it was worth it. The moon was just between two mountains, and sky was surprisingly clear. All day it had been rather cloudy, which was quite a bummer, but it cleared up nicely later in the afternoon. I had spent a few hours sitting on the front porch of Main Hall watching the clouds move across the sky, chatting amiably about everything and anything, waving to professors as they passed.

The view was beautiful, and the air was warm. The sun began burning through the clouds, painting them with pale peach and pink against a soft blue sky. My favorite kind of clouds! We nicknamed them the ‘celestial clouds’ – that’s what happens when you have 3 English majors cloud-watching. Strange names are composed for the clouds that have shafts of sunlight streaming through them. We watched and listened as the 4 o’clock train passed through BV, just enjoying the beautiful weather.

Anywho – the night sky was suprisingly clear after the cloudy day. We curled up with blankets and sat chatting in the middle of the softball field for a few hours, telling stupid jokes and silly stories, poking fun at one another. The stars are one thing I love about the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains – the stars are so ridiculously bright and the sky so broad and unobstructed. We mistook stars for satellites, and made corny jokes about pretending air planes were shooting stars and making wishes. It was pretty brilliant, honestly. I had a great time.

Stargazing is one of my favorite things in the world to do. It always gives me time to put things in perspective. Despite the vastness of the sky, I’m never intimidated or overwhelmed. When I have the chance to look up at the sky, trying to pick out clusters and constellations, I feel like everything falls into place peacefully for a few long moments. No worries, no chaos, just simple pleasure at the beautiful view. Looking at the night sky tells me everything is fine, that everything is okay. It’s like time stands still. I love that feeling.

After a while (we were getting chilly, and we have a tendency to get strong wind around these parts) we headed back to campus. We stopped by the Lofts, grabbed a laptop and the movie Invictus, popped some movie theatre popcorn and headed down to the Institute building. We stayed there for a few hours, laughing at how humorous Invictus is if you pay attention (seriously – Morgan Freeman is hilarious if you listen close enough, and who doesn’t like Matt Damon? We decided his general line is, “I don’t know what’s going on.”). We talked about country music and watched all the funny videos by Toby Keith, decided that Dierks Bentley looks decidedly meerkat-like and that  we all want to go to the Ukraine.

It was a pretty fun evening, all in all. I’m really loving the evenings like that. Spontaneous adventures with good friends are the best. Though it always makes it bittersweet to sit down and have to study the next day for a long while (taking a break from doing that now, actually). Hopefully we’ll have a little Sunday adventure-walk tomorrow!!

As I was cleaning up my desk in preparation to settle down and bury my nose in the books, I stumbled across my notebook of quotes and remembered how much I liked the one by Carl Sagan: “We are all made of starstuff.” Love it. :)

Have a great day ya’ll!

Meg

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