I dedicate this post to my Nana, who passed away in 2011. I have a feeling she was watching me as I went through this experience, and was probably laughing along with me as I did my best to make last night an adventure. What happened isn’t a giant, interesting tale, but it really got me thinking about her.
To you, Nana. I hope to be able to see a full meteor shower one day, and think about you while doing it.
Last night, I tried making my dreams come true.
Okay, not all of my dreams, but definitely a major one.
I became interested in all things outer space because…okay, remember when I said this was a “No Judgment Zone”? Or did I call it a “Judgment-Free Zone”? Either way, same thing, basically, you can’t judge me, and I can’t judge you, yeah?
Anyways, I got into space and galaxies and stuff because my favorite KPOP group had a comeback season revolving around outer space. Okay?
You probably only read that I have a favorite KPOP group, and didn’t even realize the rest of what I wrote. But yes…I listen to KPOP, and that is how I was introduced to this whole idea of space and stars and galaxies.
And last summer, I found out that outer space and stars had a deeper meaning for me because it was associated with my Nana. Knowing that loving the stars and loving my Nana were kinda connected, well, it just motivated me even more.
So, when I found out yesterday afternoon that there would be a meteor shower happening later that night, I was THRILLED. Like, a couple of my big time dreams are to see the Northern Lights, and to see a meteor shower. Maybe meteor showers aren’t that big of a deal to you, but oh man, seeing shooting stars in the sky just makes me so ecstatic. I can’t even explain to you.
I’m pretty sure I’ve only seen a shooting star a couple of times in my life. I long to see so much more.
Now, my passion for space is limited to seeing it on Earth for now. I don’t long to be an astronaut. And I wonder if in Heaven, we’ll be able to see outer space…
But I’m writing this to tell you about my adventure of trying to watch this Perseids meteor shower…
So, after watching like maybe three episodes of One Tree Hill, and having my heart broken over and over again, I’d finally had enough, and decided it was time to get hyped for this meteor shower. It was 12:20 a.m., and NASA’s Instagram post expressed that between midnight and dawn would be the best time to see this shower.
I grabbed a towel off of my cluttered bedroom floor, unlocked the porch door next to my bed, and cautiously stepped into the night, my iPhone flashlight violently illuminating the midnight darkness. I immediately started climbing the wooden ladder to the top deck. This was so exciting for me. I was going to lie in the darkness (after checking for bugs and raccoons) on a towel, and stargaze for the first time all summer. Why I hadn’t done it at all before now, I couldn’t tell you.
But it was gonna happen tonight.
…or was it?
The first thing I did after climbing up that ladder was run into a spider web. One thing you should know about me: I. HATE. SPIDERS. I will push over anyone of any height or weight to get away from a spider. Yes, I will. It’s sad. My mom always asks me all the time what I’m going to do when I live alone, and there’s a spider in the house.
That’s simple: I won’t live alone, or I’ll have some extremely rockin’ neighbors who will always do me the solid of killing spiders for me. If you’re either my roommate or neighbor in the future who is willing to do this, you are truly a blessing. I will love you forever.
Anyways, back to last night.
So, I ran into a spider web, and I didn’t freak out initially, because I was still balancing myself on the wooden ladder. But you better believe that after I got off that ladder, I threw my towel onto the deck floor, and did a little “get the spider web/possible spiders off me” dance. I may have squealed in my head. And thrown the towel around the deck a few times to knock away any spiders and webs from my vicinity.
But, it was fine, because I made it up there, and I had a clear view of the sky. There were a few clouds out, but they weren’t blocking the stars too much. I turned to my right, and I found the moon, which seemed to be in the waning gibbous phase. I could have squealed again, only this time aloud, and out of excitement.
Then I realized something…I could barely see.
My glasses…I left them in my room.
Well, no trouble. It doesn’t take too much effort to climb back down the ladder, and go into my room to snatch my glasses. I mean, if I was going to see my first meteor shower, I wanted to be able to actually see it.
I walk back toward the ladder, the brightness of my iPhone flashlight blinding me. I notice a small piece of spider web still hanging on the rail, and I pick it off…and that’s when I see it…
THE BIGGEST. SPIDER. I HAVE EVER. SEEN.
Like, it wasn’t just a baby spider, it was a Oh my gosh, I think that’s a brown recluse. Or maybe a black widow. Eww, its legs are moving creepily in the air as it hangs there on its web. S I C K.
I was extremely hesitant to climb down the ladder, even if the spider was hanging closer to the house than it was to the ladder. As I slowly stepped down each ladder step, I kept my flashlight shining on the spider. I watched its legs bend and extend, and seeing its shadow behind it because of my flashlight probably only made things worse. But I couldn’t just not watch it as I was getting closer.
I made it down the ladder, and just stared at the spider for maybe a good thirty seconds. And then I noticed the OTHER GIANT SPIDER in the same vicinity as this first giant spider, and I quickly ran into my bedroom, shutting the door as quietly but as violently as I could. Then I began weighing my options…
1) Grab glasses. Move past spiders / pretend they aren’t there. Climb back up that ladder, and try to see some shooting stars, yet still kind of worrying what to do about the spiders down the ladder.
2) Grab glasses and a shoe. Kill spiders with shoe. Climb back up the ladder, and try to see some shooting stars without worrying about spiders.
3) Forget about it. Leave the towel up on the top deck, and grab it in the morning. Try to find an alternative way to watch this meteor shower.
Guys, I wanna say that writing about fear and doing things really put some courage in me, and I chose options 1 or 2. But I’m a twenty-one year old squirmy little, spider-fearing girl so…
I do want to say that I tried! I was determined to watch my meteor shower. I wanted this dream to come true. So I got my glasses. I got my shoe. I was armed and dangerous with that brown and white sandal in my hand, ready to bring those spiders to their deaths.
But then I went out there, watched those spiders on the side of the house, and realized…
This brown sandal isn’t gonna do JACK.
So, option 3 it was (sorry for leaving the towel up there all night, Mom. I promise, I’ll put it in my dirty laundry basket to wash with my next load).
Downstairs I went.
Maybe I could watch it on the second-floor porch deck? Nah, the third-floor deck was blocking the sky too much. Looks like I’d be in the driveway…
I went down more stairs to the driveway, where I encountered a couple of smaller bugs, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I walked in between all of our cars, and looked up at the sky, rubbing my arms and legs to ward off any mosquitoes or potential spiders that could have landed on me in the 0.5 seconds I’d spent just being outside.
I hoped to see something.
But then I realized that our porch light, and the neighbor’s porch light, and all the other porch lights and house lights that were on were hindering me from really seeing the stars. Not to mention, it seemed the clouds from earlier grew or multiplied in the time it took for me to make a decision about the spiders. So a good bit of the sky wasn’t visible.
I threw my head back, and tried to block my eyes from the light, but it just wasn’t happening, unfortunately. I really wanted to stay up too, but then I realized that I needed to also write this post, and get some sort of decent amount of sleep for work tomorrow. Then I ran into a GIANT COCKROACH on my way back inside, and decided that these were not the conditions a dream should come true in haha.
Not to mention, as I was looking up at the sky in our driveway, I realized how lonely it was trying to watch this shower by myself. The whole experience – spiders and all – would have been way more fun if I’d had someone else to share the moment with me. It didn’t need to be a significant other, just anyone – a friend, a family member, a companion. Someone who was willing to stay up with me, and enjoy something that I am super into, and maybe be into it themselves.
And that’s when I thought of Nana, and how she would’ve been all about watching that meteor shower with me. She probably would have done her best to kill those spiders for me, or if not kill the spiders, she would have been courageous enough to get the towel off the top deck for me, and she would have really tried to find a different spot around the house, the neighborhood, wherever would be the best to make this dream of mine come true.
We probably would have had snacks to eat – cookies and maybe some Snapple. She’d probably bring some of those Snapple bottle caps and a flashlight so she could read off some facts as we watched the stars.
Maybe now isn’t the time. And I’m okay with that.
But I know that when it is time, I’ll be thinking of Nana, and how she could be looking down at me from those shooting stars.
And maybe by that time, I’ll conquer my fear of spiders.
I gotta go get that towel from the top deck now…