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one dark night

June 30, 2008

It’s the dead of night. A very quiet night: no partying, no sirens, no train whistles, not even any wind, for a change.

And I can breathe. I CAN BREATHE! I CAN BREATHE!

After a week of smoke everywhere, all the time, yesterday it began to disperse, and by this afternoon it was looking almost normal, though not quite.

I haven’t been outside to check the sky, and now it’s too late; I’m tired.

Two nights ago, the power went off suddenly just before midnight, and it stayed off for four hours. We hardly ever lose power here, at least not for any length of time. Someone’s suggested it’s because we’re on the same grid as the hospital.

But when the power does go off, at night, I consider it a dark sky opportunity. So I ran straight out, with hope in my heart, even though we’d spent the day under a glowering roof of thick, thick haze.

Of course it was still there. No clouds at all, but no stars either, except for the very brightest. I could see Vega, I guess, dimly overhead, and Jupiter towards the south: from the street in front of my house, that was it. Yet the sky itself was glowing with a kind of sickly pearlescence.


So, a dark night missed. We don’t get many of them. I’m glad the smoke is gone; I hope it stays gone.

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