People have always been drawn to the sky. It is the same sky that connects us to those who gazed upward for many millennia before us, and has inspired the creation of limitless myths, cultural traditions, works of art and scientific discoveries.
Gazing into the heavens creates a backdrop for our dreams and hopes—and allows our imaginations to take flight. In our minds, we can fly through space and dream about what is beyond our reach in the vast cosmos.
Maybe we feel a freedom that releases us from what binds us on Earth. And for a moment in time, we can transcend and escape our worldly trials and tribulations and hope for peace and happiness in our futures.
Watching the ever-changing scene above us might alter our moods or intensify our emotions. We may feel “down in the dumps” and lethargic when dark, menacing clouds hang low in the sky, or rejuvenated and hopeful when a rainbow appears after a storm, or when waking to a cheerful morning sunrise. Perhaps viewing a beautiful full moon with a sweetheart may stir feelings of love and romance.
Bob Berman of The Old Farmer's Almanac tells skywatchers of exciting events in this year's December skies, specifically, bright planets and the Geminid Meteor Shower, which he describes as "the star of the celestial show."
Planets Jupiter, Venus and Saturn will be sensational. Venus will be the morning star in early December; Jupiter will be visible all month, especially on Dec. 21 and 22; and Saturn may be located just above the Moon on Dec. 17.
As for the Geminid Meteor Shower, which occurs each year from Dec. 4 through 16, one may see more than 75 meteors each hour!
Taking the time to look toward heaven and ponder its greatness can evoke spiritual feelings of awe, reverence and gratitude for our little place in this magnificent universe we call home.
Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies!
O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!
The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there!
Down in dim woods the diamond delves! the elves’-eyes …
– Gerard Manley Hopkins
“What I know for sure is that every
sunrise is like a new page,
a chance to right ourselves and receive each
day in all its glory. Each day is a wonder.”
– Oprah Winfrey
“Somewhere over the rainbow,
skies are blue, and the dreams
that you dare to dream
really do come true.”
– E.Y. Young
“We go about thinking we have nobody,
when in fact, we have the sun, the
moon and the stars to look up to.”
– Michael Bassey Johnson
“Having your head in the clouds
even for just a few minutes each day,
is good for your mind, good for your body,
and good for your soul.”
– Gavin Pretor-Pinney
“A still more glorious dawn awaits
not a sunrise, but a galaxy-rise
a morning filled with 400 billion suns
the rising of the Milky Way.”
– Carl Sagan