Here in upstate New York, autumn was long and beautiful. This is December already, and some days are warm enough that even the bees decide to fly. But the other night something else was flying which aroused my interest and required me to lose some sleep.
After making sure my younger siblings were asleep, I tiptoed out of my bedroom and pulled on thick, fuzzy coats. Then I slipped outside, closing the door softly behind me.
I hurried to the gazebo and nimbly climbed onto the roof. The moon was bright, and there was a low, thin cloud on the horizon. The wind whistled frostily through the trees, blew gently over me, then swooped down and teased the wind chimes into singing. I could hear the distant humming of traffic on the highway and a faint, occasional bark of the neighbor’s dog. The night was almost perfect.
Scanning the eastern sky, I settled down to wait. I didn’t have to wait long till I spotted the first meteor. And about every ten to twenty seconds I would see another one.
I stayed up there till I was almost frozen. Then I climbed down and walked around the house to the other side. What a sight to behold! The western sky held a lot more. One really bright “star” attracted my attention, and my interest grew as it started moving. Then it streaked across the sky and was gone.*
Ten minutes later, I was satisfied and chilled to the bone. I headed into the warm house. I awakened my younger sister, but she told me she was too sleepy. In no time we were both fast asleep.
I woke up in the early morning to my younger sister’s urgent cry, “There are a lot of meteors out there.” I stumbled sleepily outside, and the sky looked amazing. The moon was gone, and every star shone brightly. The meteors could be seen easily too.
At the breakfast table everyone was exclaiming about how amazing it was, and my little brother said, “Last night I could even hear the thud as the meteors hit the earth!”
*Editor’s note: A typical appearance of an International Space Station flyby.