Last night my brother, my husband, and I went outside to lie on our backs and peer up at the midnight sky. We were looking for trails of light, it being the right time, according to those in the know, to view the Pleiades meteor showers. We allowed several minutes for our eyes to adjust to the dark, and as we did we were silent, companionably so. I thought about something my sister-in-law had shared with me that morning: when my brother was hosting one of my nephew's little friends and his sister, the siblings were squabbling. My brother bent down to the boy and told him that when he was little, he and his sister fought just like the boy and his sister. But now, he confided, my sister is my best friend.
I thought about my husband on the left of me, and my best friend and brother on the right of me, and I felt lucky indeed. The sky was brilliant, cloudless and teeming with stars. I spied the Milky Way. We saw a few flashes of light, meteor showers, perhaps, but never did all three of us see a flash in the same place at the same time. I just want to stay out a few more minutes, my brother said. It would be nice for all of us to agree that yes, we saw this particular meteor shower at this particular location in the sky, so that we're sure it wasn't just an airplane, or our eyes tricking us.
We waited, but the climactic moment my brother sought failed to arrive. Still, I don't think any one of us was terribly disappointed. The night sky was spectacular as it was, without need of embellishment.
Do you ever experience a moment, and even while one part of you is living it another part is processing it? My brain was busy filing August 11th, 2013 as a signal date to remember and fall back on someday, when my body is aged and infirm, and my memory is the only vehicle left to me. I imagine my elderly self smiling as I gaze on myself in early middle age sandwiched between these two people I loved, the three of us awed by the vastness and majesty of one piece of the universe, but also comfortably sure both of our place in it and of the people who anchored us there.