It was about midnight. I heard a familiar ping from my phone, followed by another, and another. Annoyed enough to make myself check my phone, I opened it up to see a conversation between a few of my friends; one wanted to go watch the meteor showers.
With the promise of hundreds of shooting stars to be seen in the night sky, peaking from the hours 2-4 am, we took to the lake. Bustling around in a borrowed mini-van so we could fit the six of us in one car, we giggled in anticipation and wrapped ourselves in blankets to protect ourselves from the already cold night air.
Nick drove, and kept on driving, and when we reached the bridge across the lake, I became infatuated. With the night, the water, the nature that surrounded us in the beautiful place, Lake Griffy. We parked the car, laid out some blankets and a sleeping bag to shoddily create our little bed for the night. All six of us lied down and situated to find a good view of the sky. We saw the bright stars that made up the Big Dipper and spent the rest of the time making up constellations that we decided were definitely legitimate.
We were out there for a good while, joking about stars and how people even came up with constellations, and even more bewilderingly, how they managed to find the same ones again. Pointing at particularly bright ones that even twinkled a little bit, we figured those were the planets. The sky was breathtakingly clear. Every star illuminated and reflected off the pond to create a misty landscape when we looked out to the water. The only soundtrack was the drunken laughter of a few people not far away from us, and more obviously, the sounds of the bullfrogs; that sound is summer to me. And summer was quickly approaching, I knew. This only confirmed my excitement for the upcoming summer months and outdoor happiness that came with it.
The hours carried on and the temperatures continued to drop; we were forced to come a little closer to each other to share the blankets and what little body heat we had left. Essentially, it was a giant spoon session. And I was okay with it; I loved all my friends. But even as we all cuddled together with our legs accidentally jostling, I still felt the cold escape from my feet and, really, the rest of my body. Nick jokingly said, “I was thinking I could take off my socks to give them for you to wear, but I figured offering you dirty socks wasn’t quite a romantic as me offering you a jacket or something…” No dirty socks were exchanged, but laughter certainly was.
I felt so lucky to lie side-by-side to my friends, to my left Nick, and to my right Janice. I gave Nick short lessons on how to say these in Chinese, including how to properly say, “I do not know how to speak Chinese.” I joked with Janice about how inherently couple like we are as I tucked my feet under her legs for warmth. Linnea, Laura, and Julia endearingly argued about plans to watch Buffy and complained about the lack of shooting stars as I quieted them so we could just enjoy the sound of the frogs. Goddamn, I can’t help but love that sound. It’s really a quite unattractive sound, reminiscent of the Jaws theme, but less sharp and deeper. But it just reminds of a happy time.
A happy time consisting of clear skies and air, and sleeping outside surrounded by people I love and love to be around. I was so happy to be there in that moment, to be lying on the hard gravel of the parking lot and to not see any meteors brush the night sky. It was funny, though, when Nick complained he would sue the scientists who promised an intense shower, and suddenly a huge streak appeared in the sky and disappeared just as quickly, leaving only a short, magnificent memory.
And so the night wasn’t filled with hundreds of meteors like we had anticipated. Out there for a few hours, I saw a total of 3 meteors, though I’m sure I missed some as I slipped in and out of sleep and paid little attention at times. I partially blame the tree line for obstructing a full view, but honestly I didn’t mind. I didn’t mind that there weren’t that many meteors to be seen, because the 100 meteors that didn’t show up were replaced with 100 funny moments, a 100 heartfelt chuckles, a 100 snuggles, a 100 smiles. 100 smiles that made me so happy to go home and write about how happy I was in my journal. Smiles that made me stop worrying about silly things because life is a silly thing, and I shouldn’t worry about it. I can just wait for a hundred meteors to come again, and if they don’t, then it’s fine; I have the other hundreds of things to paint my own sky.