Joshua Tree with my brother Joshua (and Pat and soon-to-be-sister-in-law-Cindy)

The first night, Pat and I counted a combined 25 shooting stars. When I was a little girl, someone told me that shooting stars were dying stars and for some reason that stuck in my mind despite me knowing that dying stars, stars just like our sun, become supernovas and if we were that close to a supernova to see it streaking across our night sky, well, we’d be goners.
“No, Honey,” Pat consoled, ” ‘Shooting stars’ are just a pretty name for asteroids and space dirt burning up in our atmosphere.”
I stared at him blankly, piecing together all the documentaries I’ve seen on Netflix about the sky, our solar system. Duh. Synapsis firing.
“I hope I didn’t shatter some childhood fantasy of yours just now,” he said.
“Actually, you just made it better. Because every time I saw one, I felt so bad that a star had just died, it was always a little bitter sweet. And now they’re just beautiful.”

We laid our sleeping bags and pillows across the cold concrete picnic table, snuggled into the cold night; the arm of the milky way extend from one horizon to the other; we watched the sky like newborns mesmerized by a mobile spinning above us. Do bugs get cold? I asked. How do startrails in your camera work? He asked. And the next day, we’d meet up with my brother and his fiancee; reminisce about camping in Jumbo Rocks as kids: easter egg hunts among cacti and lizards; We’d climb boulders, eat sandwiches, drink beers, laugh and laugh and laugh around a campfire until the sky said “I’m not done yet. I’ll never be done” and shed it’s daylight armor morphing, once again, into one of the most beautiful night skies I’ll ever see.

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2 Responses to Joshua Tree with my brother Joshua (and Pat and soon-to-be-sister-in-law-Cindy)

  1. Ms. Moon says:

    That last sentence- the part about the sky. Well. Knocked me out like a shooting star.

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