There’s no mistaking the changing season after dark. Still smitten by the wonder of the night sky, we take our barefoot selves out into the yard to see what we can see with a Gerry’s telescope. One by one we go back into the house and return wearing hoodies. Makiya and I remain shoeless, but we stand on her blanket to protect our tender toes from the cold grass.
We have little success with the telescope and take a different approach. I turn off all the lights in the house. We take blankets out to the upper deck and cocoon ourselves in them.
“We need popcorn! It’s like we’re watching a movie,” Makiya says as she reclines in her chair and looks up at the Milky Way. Though we all know we need no popcorn for this particular show. We chat for a bit, and Gerry gets science-y, then fall into companionable awe-filled silence.
Makiya sees a shooting star. Then another, and another, and I pray that the wonder of seeing her first shooting stars will help cement the memory of tonight for her. I imagine her in about fifty years sitting on a deck somewhere with her own grandchildren, as a soft memory of the sweetness of one night spent with her grandparents plays in her mind.
Gerry gets cold and heads for bed. Makiya and I stay outside warm under our blankets, reclined on chairs, in silent awe. I breathe prayers for my granddaughter and contemplate grace.
Finally, I whisper, “Are you still awake?”.
She returns a “Yup,” and I reluctantly make a move toward going in.
She says she’d like to sleep out here, and if it was warmer, I’d be tempted. Maybe that’s an idea for next year’s summer Camp G and G. As it is we stumble through the dark house for bed and books and another day ends with an abundance of gratitude, grace, and wonder.