Starry starry night

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Many years ago a friend went home to his parents for the weekend.  On his return I asked him how it had been and he replied,’ there was lots of sky’.  I have never forgotten that statement. If you live in a city like I did at that time, you don’t notice the sky between the buildings, you might (if you’re English), constantly talk about the weather but probably don’t spend too long looking at the sky.  If I look up at the sky I get vertigo, how weird is that?  I look up and get jelly legs.  I prefer to look out rather than up.

When I think of my parent’s house I see the view from their back window.  Unhindered by other buildings the view is of garden and fields and the not so distant Peak District.  The sky is often steely grey and there are times the clouds whizz past so quickly they make your head spin but it’s possible to stare at the sky for a long time.

uk sky 2

My home now is all blue sky – almost neon.  I can’t leave my sunglasses at home, ever, winter or summer the light is bright here.  At this time of year the weather is changeable; 35 degrees on Friday, 17 degrees 2 days later, but mostly with blue sky.  When the clouds and rain comes it’s dramatic and the navy blue clouds are threatening and picture worthy.

Israel winter sky

When I think of meeting my husband for the first time I think of the stars in the sky above the beach in Port Douglas, Australia.  Later at Lake Tekapo in New Zealand we lay on the lake shore and watched the satellites and marveled at the amount of stars.  I have never seen such an amazing amount of lights in the sky – man-made and natural – as I saw in the Antipodes.

When I think of my childhood I think of blue sky with fluffy clouds, like a kid’s painting.  That has to be a good sign right? I must have had a good childhood because I am sure the weather in North West England was also pretty dismal in the 70s and 80s. I also remember that heavy and lead coloured sky before a snow fall, poor England has seen a lot of that recently, blizzards in Spring makes the novelty of snow very tiring.

snow

I remember the stars on my friend’s ceiling when I was very young.  They magically appeared when we turned the lights out.  Sleepovers at her house were extra special because of those stars.  I really thought they were magic, they almost made up for the hamster that annoyingly squeaked around its wheel throughout the night.  One of the first things I bought for my first child were some glow in the dark stars for his ceiling.  I think I appreciate them way more than he does.

image from www.National Geographic.com

image from http://www.National Geographic.com

desert skyNext week we are camping in the desert and I am foreseeing a lot of sky and star watching, if there is one place in the world that there is a lot of sky, it’s in a desert.  We are either mad, adventurous or optimistic thinking that 3 under 5s under canvas in the desert is a good idea. I am hoping that the sheer amount of oxygen that will be filling their lungs on a daily basis will make for peaceful nights.  I am also hopeful that the camel spider aka wind or sun scorpion aka akrabut (in Hebrew) doesn’t make an uninvited visit to our tent.  We once saw one of these massive and frankly terrifying creatures on a trip to the desert and I never want to see one again.  In fact any animals, snakes, reptiles, creepy crawlies can stay away.  Stars and a bright moon however are most welcome and I fully intend to drink in as much sky as possible to soothe my soul and remind myself what a mere dot I am in the big picture.

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