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Cosmic night

January 2, 2023

Some nights when I can’t sleep, when it’s too warm or when worries weigh heavy,
I walk outside and I climb up the short white fence in the back yard and pull myself
up onto the roof of the old garage. I look north over the Thompson’s rooftop,
and up into the dark sky, my eyes becoming dual 20 meter telescopes ranging out
in search of answers.

With feet hanging free over the edge of the roof I feel the strong rush of wind
as the 9-foot roof rises, faster and faster, until I’m soon sitting 15,000 feet
in the air and I’m seeing billions – tens of billions – of light years into space.

I see through stars and past brown dwarfs and beyond galaxies that haven’t been discovered yet to destinations that would take a million years to reach.

The universe is so quiet.

The hoot of a barred owl brings me back to earth. He’s in the red maple and
he’s also watching the world. Do we have anything in common, he and I? Can he
also see from 14,000 feet?

I wonder.

I lie back on the cool shingles of the roof and close my eyes.

(200 words)

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