Note : This is from long long ago.
The hunter and the dog aka Orion and Cansa major, finally came into the view of my brains and eyes, of course?
Is that a dog? Is that a head? Is that a what in the heavens not? So goes my head in all of my stargazing sessions. Ani would point at some bright speck in the sky and claim it to be Jupiter. My head would whirl and I’d have no idea how she knew. How do you know a planet from a star? How do you know it’s Jupiter and not Venus? So goes my list of questions. My inability to make out farther than Orion’s belt has thinned into the air this December.
It’s the season to be jolly, la la la la la la la.
I was back home in Kerala where the skies are clear, the water green and the soil rich. The starry sky lit up in all its glory and I summoned up the courage to go up the terrace in the dark with my kid brother.It was dark and I could hear the faint murmur of the seas, the lighthouse lights went sweeping about the sky and straight up lying down, the stars themselves looked down upon me and my eyes met them. The belt, the shoulders, the legs and the arrow and Betelgeuse shining orange at me. Jupiter shone down and Sirius, the brightest smiled. Orion and Cansa major, I could see. Ecstatic, I pointed em all out to Sam and he was thrilled and right at that moment, a shooting star sped along Orion’s belt making it the best night among many nights.
Planets don’t twinkle, stars do. Planets are way brighter than stars. Get a diagram of the constellation and look up Orion, you will know how easy it is. The position of the constellations changes with time and you can tell time by their positions and that is how the ancients knew to tell time. Sailors told time by knowing the positions of the constellations and now, I know.😊 Venus is the bright evening star visible from 6:45 to 8 something. Jupiter appears from 8 to 10 something. And now, you know too.😊
From some damn stupid essay that I read in undergrad that there is beauty in ignorance, that there is some magic to not knowing the names of all the flowers out there and when spring comes you learn it all anew and forget, I thought ignorance was bliss. But I was wrong, at least in my case, there is a beauty in knowing, when I look up at the starry sky and my heart sings that I know two of those stars by name and I know where they are, my heart sings in joy for He hung up each of the stars and called them each by name and I know two of them up in the sky 😀. There is a beauty in knowing.There is beauty in wisdom. This is a treasure and digging it up is a pleasure.
I flew back to Sharjah today and before the descent, when we were up in the sky, I saw Jupiter shining in all its glory upon the starred city. A thousand lights glimmered in the sea and I sunk in the pleasure of knowing.
So, I guess this is a lesson learnt and this post short of an Aesop’s fable, after all.
Moral of the story: Don’t feign ignorance, dig up treasure aka knowledge.
Image Credits: Jingpeng Photography