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Need to Nomad Blog

Watching in awe as nature unfolds

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The mind is an amazing tool. As I lay down to sleep last night, I told my brain to wake me up so I could watch the annual Perseid meteor shower.  And so my brain woke me up at precisely 3:33 a.m. Wide awake and ready to gaze. The fact that '3' is my all time favorite number in the whole wide world - make that in the whole wide universe - just made the timing more perfect.

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Ask my siblings about fond memories from our childhood, and most likely they will say “I remember Dad getting us up at two in the morning to see a meteor shower”.  Or the rings of Saturn. Or a comet at midnight, or a lunar eclipse at 3 a.m.  Or a road trip to Prince Edward Island to see the full solar eclipse.  Our recollections are vivid, voices full of nostalgia and longing.  Memories abound of abandoned slumber, replaced by amazement as we stand pajama clad in the backyard to watch some astronomical wonder unfold.  I remember these sensations as I curl up on the lawn chair watching meteor after meteor this morning. The very act of stargazing, of looking up at the sky forces our jaws to drop.  I often wonder if this is by design, forcing us to watch in awe when casting our gaze to the magnificent sky?

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Dad is a stargazer, an astronomer, a dreamer, an enthusiast of mysteries and things far away.  He is an engineer in everything he does, not just at work, but in the common puzzles of life.  He questions, probes, wonders, but never demands an answer. He waits patiently for whatever discovery evolves from his inquiries.  Am I lucky enough to have inherited this sweet patience? Alas not, but it is this patience for which I strive as I get older and more mellow.

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And so, as I look up at the sky this morning watching the much-anticipated annual Perseid meteor shower, I thank my Dad for all the precious gifts he has given me, not the least of which is stargazing and nomadic curiosity. Dad's imagination sparked my curiosity, his enthusiasm encouraged me to grasp what life has to offer and enjoy to the fullest. [Photos of Lunar Eclipse 1975 by Matthew James Kenney]


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