Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Under the Milky Way

Simple pleasure - looking up at a starry sky.

Tonight, after dream group, I looked up. The last of the crescent moon had gone down hours before and above, in the clear Melbourne sky, in a suburb where the street lights hadn't been calibrated to the end of daylight savings.

Old friends soon appeared. Orion, with Betelgeuse at his head (or Beetlejuice if you are of my advanced years - just don't say his name three times or there will be trouble). There were other old friends to find. The saucepan, the emu - ah, there it is - the Southern Cross - have to find the Southern Cross when you look up - it's always there, you just have to find it. Ah, there it was, right above me. It was strange living in the Northern Hemisphere for so long - the stars were strange - not that you saw them that often - not with the light leakage, smog and grey weather.

Tonight was so dark, I even got a glimpse of the Milky Way. You never see that in the city. I don't remember watching out for it since I was living on Mykonos. Living in the middle of the island the lights were minimal - and being in the middle of the Aegean, there was less ambient light to worry about.

I used to gaze at the stars all the time as a child. I remember telling my year 11 career counsellor that if I couldn't be a French teacher or a doctor I'd love to be an astronaut. I've gone from being an astronomy nerd to an astrology nerd. Speaking to another astronomy nerd recent, he said he always wanted to know how we astrologers saw things. Strangely, how the stars and planets and comets go round is just the same. It's just a difference in the interpretation.

And then the song came. Sang it all the way home.

I prefer the acoustic version - The Church's "Under the Milky Way".

Who says Australians don't write fantastic songs.

And it sure beats the honky tonk version of Cold Chisel's "Khe Sahn" I heard played on an off-key pianola down Bourke Street Mall today.

1 comment:

The Elephant's Child said...

Thank you for reminding me of another reason to enjoy living here. I too watch the stars regularly - and they are often still to be seen when I get up. Magic.