Winter Before Summer Dawn

orionOne advantage to the disadvantage of walking a dog in the dark each morning is the stars. We have but one week to go in summer (autumn begins on Sept. 23rd), but at 5 a.m., it you look to the sky, you’d guess it was the middle of January.

At this hour, Orion walks in all his glory. Eliminate the moon and the heavens are his heath to hunt. Everything sparkles — his four corners, his famous QVC belt, his mighty bow. Beneath him, the rabbit (Lepus) quivers at the sight of his quiver. Below and behind, leaping to the tune of Robert Frost’s poem “Canis Major,” his faithful dog follows. He of the let’s-get-Sirius eye.

There our other mid-winter treats, too. Gemini. The Pleiades. Taurus. That spelling demon Cassiopeia. Auriga singing with a Capella. Winter stars in their own right, able to be enjoyed in the relative warmth of a summery September morn.

It’s the little stuff like huge stars that make this blip called life worth living. Sure, I bump into things sometimes as I crane my neck and walk, but I have to look. You know the old saying: “Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the stars.” If one falls, so much the better. There are plenty of others to take its place.

We should be so lucky.


4 thoughts on “Winter Before Summer Dawn

  1. What a wonderful trek through the morning skies. Thank you for making me look. I don’t smell the stars enough, mainly because too many city lights.


  2. Oh good! A fellow star-gazer. The recent Montana rains seem to have extinguished (or at least hold in check) the forest fires in our area so the night skies are once again brilliant in their heavenly displays. Your writing is wonderfully vivid and apt in the telling.


    • Thanks, Linda. Pretty cool seeing the Summer Triangle at night, Orion in the morning. “Cake,” meet “eat it, too.”

      (And I’ll bet stars are beautiful in light-pollution-free Montana!)


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