So tonight, after seeing an article on it earlier today, I invited my four-year old daughter to bundle up and go watch a meteor shower with me. Abbie was excited about it because she had seen an episode of Doc McStuffins where they watched a meteor shower. In fact when I asked her if she knew what a meteor shower was, she said, “yes, mommy, it’s when rocks fly into the sky at night and burn bright across the sky.” I responded, “yes, yes, that’s exactly what they are. You are so smart!”
In some ways I began to feel bad that I had suggested this whim to go see the shower, because by the time dinner was over and Jesse was in bed it was already past Abbie’s bedtime. So by the time I told her she had to put on ski bibs in order to go out and watch for the suggested hour to adjust our eyes, it was beginning to be too much. The tears and frustration began, and we almost missed it. I considered several times telling her we weren’t going. But every time I gave her the choice to change her mind, she said, no, I want to go.
So there we were, Mommy and daughter, bundled up, Abbie with ski bibs, a coat and hat and one glove we could find in the dark car where she had left them, and mommy in my coat and gloves and two blankets. We found a nice dark spot over behind the church, laid down our first blanket, then ourselves then the second blanket and began to watch. It was difficult at first. Abbie was uncomfortable and tired and cold, but she didn’t want to give up.
We watched for about five minutes when Abbie asked, “is that a meteor?” And I asked in return, “the flashing one with the red lights too?” “uh, huh?” “Nope, kiddo, that’s a plane.” “Oh,” slightly disappointed.
Part of the time we laid silent, and part of the time we talked about the stars we saw. Some flashed (probably satellites), others were dim and small. There were clusters of stars and big bright stars. And the longer we laid there the more stars we could see.
Then, without any hint or notice, it happened, in the periphery, so as to almost be unnoticeable. “Did you see that?” I asked her. “No. See what?” she asked back. “I think I saw one.” Then a moment later another one and that one was definitely a meteor, short and fast, but distinct and bright, and then gone as soon as it appeared. “I saw one!” Abbie said. Then another, like the first one, just barely a flash, but we both saw it.
It was a few minutes before we saw anymore, and Abbie was getting tired and cold. I asked if I could have two more and she said fine. I got three. One bright streak across the sky and then two at the same time in an arch that a rainbow could have followed.
It may have been a hassle to get ready and to go out there and to lay still in uncomfortable clothes, and it may have been hair-brained to go out after bedtime when I know we are going to pay for it tomorrow (at least it’s not a school night for her), but just like the fourth of July fire works we watch from our parking lot gooey from s’mores, these moments in between the preparation and the packing up to go home, these moments of glorious light, and precious snuggles when Mommy made the effort to be cold or sticky or yelled and cried at, these are the glimpses of Christ’s reign I will never be sorry to miss.
God’s heaven must be like those moments, glorious, and awe-inspiring, joyful and grace-filled; and in-between the preparation and the journey, that’s where we find it.
Thanks, Abbie, for taking me out to see the meteor shower, and for staying for two more…
I got both of these images by doing a google search, the websites they are from are below each one, and I do not guarantee that they are from this year’s Geminids meteor shower, but you get the point 🙂