I can not remember a time when I was not all starry-eyed by the sight of a dark, starry sky aloft, euphoric at the ghostly glow of the magnificent Milky Way, at the mystery of distant worlds so far away.
They all seemed so inaccessible, unattainable, unapproachable.
And the moon; that wonderful, shape-shifting, unreachable, untouchable moon.
Nightly — when not cloaked in clouds — I followed Selene’s puzzling path across the sky.
That bright, beautiful moon. A life’s dream: all I wanted to do was see it, touch it, explore it.
Alas, only a telescope would allow me to go there, to live the dream. Sadly, all too often, life is where dreams go to die.
But the die was cast, the Rubicon crossed, I had to learn more, know more, see more.
So, when I was 15, I saved pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters for a spyglass, a sky-glass.
Finally, $15 saved, I ordered my first tiny telescope from a wee, back-pages ad in Popular Science magazine.
‘Twas 1958. I waited patiently. Finally, it arrived.
In the nights, months, years, decades that followed, it and other telescopes, bigger and better, became my windows on the universe, my big eyes on night skies.
But that first telescope still remains, unused, yes, but laden with memories of the first times.
Times when my parents drifted off to sleep.
I’d silently slide open my second-floor bedroom window and carefully carry my magical machine outside, place the spindly-legged tripod on the sloping roof, and search the heavens for whatever I might find.
Glorious nights! Cosmic lights! Sublime sights!
The Universe is a perfect place to explore, search, to discover.
To take a STAR TREK, but… ‘Tis not a place to conquer, colonize, comMANd, compromise, and control like we have Earth.