Last week me and PK watched the documentary Antartica on Netflix. It was about how a majority of the earth’s population doesn’t know much about it. How it is so cold, far, and vast that it takes a certain type of person to visit let alone live there.
It shared some of the hidden beauties and realities of the circle of life in such a climate.
What stood out to me the most was the months where it was mostly dark. The winter. Where there is 2 months of where the sun doesn’t really rise or set but it visible on the horizon and the two months where you don’t see the sun at all.
The light and noise pollution very minimal allowing you to truly enjoy and feel the purity of silence and clearly see our place.
I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it!
Well with that, I decided I wanted to go star gazing. I love everything about the sky (aka space). I may not have in depth knowledge of what is going on, what has been discovered, and other technicalities but I honestly still love it.
That night I wrote, “My heart yearns the stars and pines for the galaxies. Missing them like an ex lover I’ve never truly known.”
A family friend of ours, Tesh, goes hiking all the time and I remember he had mentioned seeing the stars at Joshua Tree. So I texted him and I asked him if it was possible/allowed to drive over there around sun set and stay for the moon rise (it’s a real thing!).
I could’ve easily looked up this information on my own but I knew his experiences and his enthusiasm would help me stay on my mission to see the stars.
I was thinking it would be on my to do list for about a week or so and then we’d go out. After a bit more planning.
Tesh said we could go this weekend (last weekend) and I wasn’t going to try to stop what the universe was unfolding for me. He mentioned we could go to Anza Berrego (another national park) since we’d already been to Joshua Tree. All we needed was to make sure there were clear skies.
I had already been on an odd schedule after trying to catch the sunrise at Laguna Beach. I had stayed awake all night and went to sleep around 7 am and wake up around 3 pm. The next night I stayed up watching Netflix and reading and went to sleep even later (or earlier depending on how you look at it).
We were supposed to leave around 7:00 pm but we waited on PK a bit as he had a car show in San Diego during the day.
We left around 9 pm. After a bit of deliberation it was decided we’d all go to Joshua Tree since we were all familiar with the terrain and it’d be the safer option as opposed to exploring a new environment under the blanket of darkness.
Around 11:30 pm after driving through L.A. and Palm Springs we turned into the park. There was less and less light pollution as we made our way through the town. We parked at the first turn off point and got out.
I personally prefer silence when it comes to certain experiences. Absolute silence and thankfully PK and Tesh are the perfect people to go on trips with. We have our moments of joking around, deep conversation, and uninterrupted silence.
I settled myself onto a picnic table and simply just looked up. Laying completely flat and relaxing as the realizing of “being” and “being here” came to me. Tesh mentioned it’d take about 10 minutes for our eyes to fully adjust and we’d start seeing more and more stars as we the night went on.
We stayed at this location for about 2 hours before moving to another spot. Originally there wasn’t any intention on taking pictures or sharing this experience. But as it became a stronger possibility of happening so soon I had the desire to document it. I personally don’t have the equipment to take magnificent pictures at night but there is this service where you can rent camera lenses for the day or week. Sadly I didn’t find the business information before they closed so it was just me and my cell phone camera.
Anyhow, the next location we had a mountain range view and the moon was beginning to rise. You don’t realize how bright the light of a moon is until you see it uninterrupted. The light of the moon did wash out a few of the softer stars but it made the brighter ones shine all that much more.
Tesh had gone to sleep around 1:30 am and PK around 2:30 am. I had gotten cold so I crawled into the back of the car and just continued to watch the moon, stars, earth, and space do it’s thing. I read my book under “moonlight” and kept an eye on my friends above.
It’s interesting because I’ve spent many days (especially at work) watching the clock move. Waiting for it to turn to 5 pm. Or waiting for time to pass until an event or something. But to actually watch the passing of time. Now there is a debate about the realities of time and how it is nonexistent. I have many incomplete thoughts about this but for now let’s keep it simple.
To really watch time pass. To observe the Earth rotating on it’s axis. It’s a phenomenal feeling. One that I believe you don’t get the true sensation of until you look up into space. Where you know there are many more things beyond your grasp, realities, and even imagination.
I watched as the moon floated higher and higher. I watched as the sky got darker closer to the horizon. I watched as the stars discontinued and there was simply just space between “night” and “day”
In this there aren’t any stars, or light or the lack of light. It’s just there. The transition, the gradient between the moon and the sun.
I watched as purples and pinks slowly creeped into view. As the darks blues receded on with the moon. I watched as the light of the sun hid the stars and washed over the moon.
I watched time move. I watched the Earth spin.