Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fire in the Friday Night Sky

Full moon and low tide at Willows Beach.
A pool of argent glow trailed across the opaque ocean, silently following the moon on its daily mission through the sky. We stood for a moment at the water’s edge as the sea vainly fought against the tidal pull of the lunar orb.
We talked about life, the future, the past, and about dreams. We talked about how we wanted to live our lives, and what we wanted from them. We walked the boundary of the ocean and the land and explored the boundary between dreaming and acting, while silently overhead the heavens caught fire.
An ocean of raining incandescence was spreading across the sky – kaleidoscopic streams of bright burning debris trailing wispy flames and tumbling cinders.
What it really was, was the funeral pyre of a Russian SL 12 booster rocket burning up upon re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
At first, I thought it might be fireworks. It looked a roman candle except that the angle was wrong – it looked like it was traveling downward at a shallow angle. Instead of burning itself out like a firework, it became brighter and spread out. The primary body seemed to split in two, and smaller chunks fell away from the two bright main portions. By the time it passed directly overhead, the whole sky was filled with flaming space debris dragging multi-coloured streamers of fire.
It lasted no more than a minute. By the time it disappeared behind the horizon, it had mostly burned itself out. But while it lasted, it was spectacular.
If I was a little more superstitious, I might say it was a sign or portent. But I’m not superstitious (touch wood) and I don’t believe that it was some sort of divine being (or the Russians) giving its blessing to my wanting to change the direction of my life. It was, however, a once in a lifetime vision, and I’ll take it as that – something you only dream of seeing. But dreams inspire other dreams. What dreams inspired the scientists that built the rocket that burned up over my head? Whatever they were, they were big dreams.
And if you don’t dream big dreams, your big dreams never come true.

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