SHOOTING STARS

 

It was a Yellowstone backcountry campsite

A few tents

With a few young travelers

Hanging out

 

Some rock climbing during the day

Some exploring

But me – what’s new

Mostly fishing

 

I do not know what it is

But I have always greatly enjoyed

Being alone

And this set up was perfect

 

A riverside campsite

The genders evenly split

Between

All four of us

 

And I would do what I do

Wake up early

Get jacked up on coffee

Grab my rod

And leave

 

The hike was a little over two miles

An overgrown path, through old forest

Leading me towards

An isolated high alpine meadow

 

Holding one of the prettiest trout rivers

I have ever seen

Crystal clear

I would approach slowly through the high grass

 

Peak over the bank

And there they were

Trout!

Many in excess of 20-inches

 

I would prepare my grasshopper

Throw it out

And bang!

They would literally fight for it!

 

Not being greedy

I would catch our dinner

Strip down and join the trout for a bit

And then when the shadows began getting long

 

Pack up our dinner

And head back to camp

We would eat our fill of fresh trout

Fill our bellies with cheap wine

 

Head out to the meadow behind camp

Lie on our backs

And watch the shooting stars

This is when and where it happened

 

We would see multiple multi colored streaks

One after another streaking across the sky

Towards earth

And there would be a collective chorus of “Whoaaa!”

 

As I lay there in the night

Tingling from head to foot

I noticed there was one star up there ever so slightly

Moving

 

I was very amused, thinking…that star

Really isn’t moving

And I would focus on that light

And begin to concentrate

 

This is when things began to get weird

I noticed when my concentration reached a certain level

Everything else – everywhere - would go black

Except of course, that bright shining star

 

I did this a couple times

Playing

Stopping and starting my concentration

Like a wind up toy

Until I thought, I’m going big this time – no stopping!

 

The sky went black

The star kept moving until

It swung in a slow half circle

And then kept spinning

Faster and faster

While coming down

 

Leaving a luminous trail

As the circles became bigger

And the effect was to form an upside down cone

That snapped to the ground

Around my body

 

This all happened in a millisecond

Now, to back up a sec

At the first half circle

I had thrown my fist towards the emergency stop

 

My fist hit the emergency stop

And I began to feel myself being lifted

Very quickly

At about the same time

 

To clarify, I am of the definite impression

That my body was staying put

But, my being was heading to parts unknown

At literally – light speed

 

I found myself sitting up in the meadow with my head in my hands

Everyone in the field heard a huge

“Whoaaaa!”

Bigger than all the rest

And there had not even been a shooting star

 

Everyone sat, then stood

As they saw me walking quickly toward camp

One hand raised in the night, like

Forget about it

 

We gathered and discussed

We were all rational young people

And the question I voiced was

“Do you think I should go?”

 

The elder statesman of our group stroked his goatee in the firelight

And said, Of course, I have no first hand knowledge

But my understanding is that going is not the tough part

It is coming back

 

“You may never come back”

We all sat in silence

And I thought, I guess this is not a quick decision

After all

There are still fish up there

 

I have seen that star a few times since that night

Believe it or not

There have been times in my life when I have said

“Please God, just let me be normal”

 

With two kids

And a house

In a Bobby Ray subdivision

I guess that prayer has been answered

 

Ok, Ok,

I speak with my animals

I say good morning to the sky

I walk and talk with the earth

 

Maybe not completely

Normal