I am a bit of a nerd about stars. I took astronomy for my science classes in college, so of course, I think I am a bit of an expert. Or at least, I can share some wisdom with my friends while we are out camping. And some of my favorite quotes have to do with stars. “I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars make me dream.” – Vincent Van Gogh and “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground” – Teddy Roosevelt. Oh, and then that Coldplay song, “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you.” And we cannot forget Neverland, “Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.” I digress. My point is that I have this thing for stars.
In the summers, my husband loves spend his nights at the lake or river catfishing. I had always longed to go with him, but because I was working a full time job and used my time off to photograph weddings, I never got the chance. Now that I am a full time photographer and make my own schedule (more or less), I was so excited to go out with him! And on my agenda: stargazing.
In addition to staring at the stars, I also love swimming. I have been swimming since before I can remember. I would spend so much time in the pool during the summers, my blond hair would turn green. (Yes, I am a natural blond.) My husband, not so much. He is more of a earth/fire person. But, over the years we have found a compromise. Natural bodies of water (other than the ocean). He enjoys swimming with me in lakes, rivers, creeks, etc. So added to the agenda: swimming!
One of our besties was in town, so we invited him along on our adventure. We packed up the truck full of fishing poles, blankets, and snacks. The first stop was grabbing some burritos from Chipotle. Then off to the lake. We got there about an hour or so before sunset so we could do some swimming. Last time we were at the lake a fish bit me on the back. (Seriously, the weirdest thing that has happened to me in a lake.) So, I refused to go into the water by myself or to stop moving my arms or legs. Because, if I was moving, they wouldn’t get me right? All I know is that I did not get bit this time!
While the boys set up their fishing poles, I laid out on a blanket with Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone to soak in some sun before it set. Before I knew it, the sun began to set, and like clockwork, my husband and I pulled out our cameras. I have taught him enough that he knows not to miss golden hour! After I snapped a few pictures for my Instagram stories, I went back to soaking in my book with the remaining light of day.
Once the sun went behind the mountains, the clothes went back on and our snacks came out. We were prepared for a long night of sharing memories and laughs while waiting for the bell of the fishing poles to ring. As the sky grew darker, the stars started to show. The first few stars I saw were Jupiter and Venus. (Though I was not sure which was which.) As more stars came out, it was time for me to bust out my stargazing book.
After I figured out which way was north (I didn’t realize I would need a compass!), I tried looking for the constellations. The first one to find was the Big Dipper. Ptch, that should be so easy. I see that all the time at home. Except, at home there are not as many stars. The Big Dipper was easy enough to find, but as the night grew darker, more stars came into view, and the harder it was to make out any of the other constellations. I read the history of the Big Dipper and shared with the boys that it is also known as the Big Bear. My husband was very excited, as he as a deep fascination with bears.
I had set up a ‘bed’ of blankets and a pillow in the truck bed for me to gaze at the stars. So, once I started to get cold, I jumped in the back of the truck, cuddled up with a blanket, and stared up at the sky until I fell asleep. That did not last long before I heard an alarm clock. Wait, no, not an alarm clock. A bell of a fishing pole. The boys had caught a small catfish. Success! They released the fish back into the lake and we jumped back in the truck and set off for home.
These warm summer nights bring be back to fond memories of roaming the neighborhood streets during summer break, hanging outside of venues with friends between bands’ sets, and camping trips during the monsoon season staring at the stars by the campfire. These nights spent gazing at the stars are recharging me for my amazing fall wedding season ahead. Inspiring me to dream big about my business. And reminding me that I am a child of the earth.