Looking Up

I've always enjoyed raising my gaze to see what might be going on above. After learning to walk well enough my mother guided me across the street to a hillside outside our little rent house and we sat on freshly mown grass to look up and try to spot Sputnik streaking across a darkening sky. We weren't able to spot the little satellite, but I wasn't at all disappointed by what I did see: a sky gradually revealing what appeared to be countless points of twinkling light. Mom seemed irked to not have spotted Sputnik and I remember wanting somehow to reassure her I wasn't at all, but I didn't have vocabulary enough to do that then. I told her this recently now that she's ninety years old and she was shocked I remembered sitting on the hillside that night with her, I was still several months shy of being eighteen months old by then. A couple weeks later Sputnik's orbit decayed and it plummeted to burn to bits above.

We marvel together these days at what goes on in the sky, and our dog Sky does too a lot, even when she's cooling off in her wading pool as pre-spring temperatures begin to rise–keeping eyes peeled on hungry, slowly circling buzzards which might just be keeping an eye on her too, wondering if that damn dog below just might be about to finally drown at last.


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