When I met the Milky Way

I have read about the Milky Way, I’ve have fantasies of stars, I know that they should twinkle, but only once I’ve seen the magnitude of stars, the Milky Way, the star of stars that span across the velvet night. I live in the far north, and summer-nights are short. I only know the brightest of the constellations, Orion’s belt, the big dipper (or the big bear as I prefer to call it) and the polar star. But many years ago we went camping in the woods northeast of Phoenix, the summer night was much cooler than in the desert far below, but still much warmer than I’ve seen at home. We were unprepared for darkness and had to search for matches, torches and our camping stove, but as we fumbled in the darkness, you stopped, exclaimed “look, above”, and behind the canopies of pines I saw, for the first and only time, a perfect road of light, our galaxy, the Milky Way.

warm pine needles
this cicada lullaby —
milky way above

Starry night by Edward Munch

Starry night by Edward Munch

Today Toni take care of Haibun Monday at dVerse, and the topic is on night and stars. Be sure to read it, there is a lot of inspiration to be found in her article. This is my one of favorite songs by the way.

September 5, 2016

36 responses to “When I met the Milky Way

  1. What a wonderful occasion! I am so glad you were able to finally witness the Milky Way, the River of Heaven. It is indeed lovely and even more so where there is no light pollution.

  2. The bit I miss about living on a farm is being able to see stars. My fiancee one mentioned how many stars were out but when I looked up I couldn’t believe he thought that was a ‘clear’ night. I suppose we only know what we’ve seen.

  3. Ah! so that’s how you do it! Lovely prose …descriptive, pulled me right in and held me….and that haiku! Wonderful!’
    I, too….have only a few times seen the Milky Way….and it is unforgettable. On a hillside devoid of trees, in the middle of a pasture….and oh, my! Unbelievable. Not that is the universe. at least to me..

  4. I have seen it, too, on an island off of Tofino, where there were no man made lights…spectacular. That same night, I saw bioluminescence in the ocean. A double-hitter.

  5. Even with light pollution, this morning when I went out to get the paper, the Milky Way was a faint smear. Each of us knows the stars in a different way.

  6. ah the perfect road of light — and the cicada lullaby. Beautifully penned….and the idea of seeing this once in a lifetime painted within your Swedish heritage. Reality within the beauty of words.

  7. At the beginning of this read I was telling myself “but he lived in Phoenix,” and then you answered my question. The night sky in the desert is amazing. When I lived in Phoenix in the early 60’s it was a small town with a one-room airport (can you believe it?) Back then you just had to look out the window.

  8. What do we lose because of the light pollution. I can only imagine the wonder and magic of seeing the Milky Way the way you did. Thanks for sharing the experience.

  9. I love the way you describe the sky as your fantasy, perhaps a fantasy of a sky journey even. And, how you follow it up with the revelation that your earth journey showed you the “perfect road of light”… Oh the stars are lovely to behold. I hope you get many more occasions to enjoy them.

  10. That must truly be a beautiful sight. I need to get away from the city lights one night and enjoy the sky.

  11. The prose piece has a wonderful journal-esque – yet, lyrical – quality to it and the haiku is exquisite and stellar. You couldn’t have picked a more perfect theme – nature at it’s zenith: mystical and divine. A splendid haibun.

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