You Know You’re in the Country When…

…at night you can see a gizillion stars and the Milky Way. And for me, the Southern Cross.

It’s Friday so time for my post about something  I love doing or experiencing which to me is “country”.

An amazing photo of the Milk Way (from http://science.howstuffworks.com/milky-way.htm)

An amazing photo of the Milk Way (from http://science.howstuffworks.com/milky-way.htm)

One treat living in the country which you simply can’t get when you are near cities is the total splendour of the night sky. With all the light pollution from city lights, the night sky becomes a grey black blur with a few stars scattered across it.

In the country the night sky, especially around the New Moon, is inky black – you know, SOOOOO black that it almost starts to have a deep blue hue to it. Really black black black. TOTALLY  black. And then it becomes spangled with stars – gizillions of them – everywhere. And if you wait you will see a shooting star or two or more. Ohhhhhhhh so special. And I can see this most nights if I want to. Walk out a door and voilà!!!

I love lying on my back in the Coolatai grass at sunset, watching the fiery colours of the sunset light up the underbellies of the clouds, or the entire horizon. The colours are magnificent – the artist changing the details so you can never remember the exact details of any one moment – you remember the wonder and awe you felt because you were there experiencing such beauty.

Sunset at Inverell the detail. The colours were actually more intense and incredible than this photo.

Sunset at Inverell – the detail. The colours were actually more intense and incredible than this photo.

The vast view of the same sunset. It was just incredible. I could make a post about the sunset nearly everyday as each day it is so spectacular in its own way.

The vast view of the same sunset. It was just incredible. I could make a post about the sunset nearly everyday as each day it is so spectacular in its own way.

After sunset, and if its still warm enough, I love staying there snuggled in the grass, cocooned in nature watching the reds and oranges and scarlets change to soft orange pastels and then merging with light blue, jacaranda blue and then merging with deeper blues which continue to deepen and deepen and deepen into blackness. In some ways into nothingness as there seems to be nothing there – except space and time and vastness and energy and the entire Universe.

I love continuing to lie there and slowly see the planets become visible as the influence of the sun’s light vanishes at the end of another magical day. And then all the stars. It’s fun counting them to start with – but there is a point where it is futile trying – there are just toooooo many.

I love lying there and feeling so small in the immenseness of our universe – yet still part of of the universe. I might be small relative to the Oneness of the Universe but I know I am part of it and when there is nothing between me and nothingness, which suddenly becomes everythingness, I can sometimes connect with the sense that I am in fact part of the One. Lying there I feel so expanded into the greatness around me I feel connected with everyone and everything.

When I was in Peru last year, one night I had this wonderful experience of being connected with eternity. It was only for a minute or so. I had never experienced something like this before. Suddenly I understood what eternity is and how it feels. I felt the continuum of the ancient Incas and Wari people of the region to now to into the future. It was an awesome experience precipitated by the nightness.

And I love it when I sleep out under the stars, snuggled in my swag, nothing between me and the stars and the moon and forever. It’s amazing how a simple action such as sleeping outside can be so magical. It costs nothing yet you feel inspired and energised.

Sunset on the way home near Coolatai, NSW. Note the moon at top right!! This windmill is on the travelling stock route.

The changing colours of sunset on the way home near Coolatai, NSW. Note the moon at top right!! This windmill is on the travelling stock route.

I have inspired myself. I have reminded myself just how special sleeping outside is. I am going to sleep outside one night this month at least. It’s winter here so its cold – I’m a total frog so I can see some thermals and a beanie (woolly hat) and scarf and socks and hot water bottle and….. I wonder if I could rectruit someone to warm my swag for me? A kangaroo or the black snake that was in the compost a few days ago or a chook (chicken) or Tuggy the dog or a gonanna?? I’ll see what luck comes my way and hope it doesn’t bite or scratch or itch or smell or take up too much room. When it comes to someone/something supplying heat, I’m always open to negotiation!!

Talking of heat……  I celebrated my 50th birthday on top of Mt Kiliamanjaro, Tanzania. (5,895m /19,341 feet). It was freezing. One of the best birthday presents I received was from my guide Deo. Deo filled up his water drinking bottle with hot water and gave it to me as a hot water bottle in my sleeping bag. Bliss!! Heat!! I needed this as I was struggling to produce enough heat for myself. NO money could have paid for this generous and thoughtful gift. Due to lack of oxygen my head couldn’t have thought up asking for such a great present – let alone thinking it up to start with. I was cold and spaced out – the water bottle remains a precious gift in my life. Ephemeral but permanent! Thanks Deo!

Enjoy the magic of your bit of the night sky and any other precious gifts which come your way. The night sky is something which is always ours – free; we just have to walk outside to absorb the awesomeness of our planet and universe. Free recharge!!

I can’t take photos of the night skies but I wanted to add some from the net – just because they are so fabulous. They make me smile. They are incredible photos. Credits below each photo.

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2 responses to “You Know You’re in the Country When…

  1. Pingback: Birthday memories! | Fiona On The GO·

  2. Pingback: Under the Stars Again! | Fiona On The GO·

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