Apparently there was a meteor shower last night. I read this on Facebook right before bedtime. I got up and looked out my window, but the city skies are a bit too bright and polluted to see anything.
On Wednesday, 18th November 1998, my parents woke us up at 3 in the morning to see a meteor shower. My Mother is a science teacher, and she has always been very enthusiastic about these things. I think she secretly had a fantasy of turning me into a mad-scientist when I was younger (well, I didn’t steer too far off from her plans, did I? Haha). Once, she brought home a cow's eyeball which she got at the market, just to teach me the anatomy of an eyeball. I can't possibly forget how a natural eye lense looks like now. Anyway, for the meteor shower, she did her research, and found out exactly when it was going to strike. I remembered her waking us up and shoo-ing us out of the house.
At 3 am in a suburban area, the houses are almost dead. There was silence except for the crickets. My Mother had already laid a mat on the lawn, a small strip of grass inside the home gate. There was a thermos of coffee, too, and I think that was meant for my Father. My Father is not at all a science fan. I don’t think he would’ve even bothered waking up to see a meteor shower, if not for the concern he had of everyone being out of the house so late at night.
The sky was dark, but it was so clear you could see every vivid dots of light across it. We were miles away from the nearest city, so there were no tall skyscrapers to obstruct our views, and no high-tech lights to ruin the darkness of the night. It was just a clear, wide carpet of starry sky. I lay down on the mat, desperately trying to not go to sleep.
Then there it was.
A sudden strike of thin, long light. I missed it by a few seconds because my eyes weren’t wandering enough. Then came another. This time I saw it all. Then another. They were swift, elongated motions across the sky, a tail of yellow light that disappeared even before you had the chance to stare at it. I remembered hearing my Mother gasp in awe. I think my Father was secretly impressed too.
It didn’t last long. Soon, they disappeared completely even when we stayed there for another fifteen minutes in case the meteor shower would happen again. But it didn’t. It was over. I’d probably never see it again for years, if not ever.
The thing is, it was only a moment that was just a fraction of my lifetime but I can still recall the details vividly in my head right now. How sleepy I felt before. How amazed I was after. The color of the mat. Those annoying crickets. I don’t really look at the night sky the same way anymore. It would later occur to me that this was a prime example of how moments in life are defined. It could be the simplest of things, but if they are significant, it will stay with you forever.