Living in a highly populated country, I never had an opportunity to appreciate nature, the trees, the mountains or the stars. My day always started with looking at the screen, commuting to & from college/ work & more screen time until I fell asleep.
There have been times when I found peace looking at the sky, at the moon as it followed my car & those educational trips to the planetarium. But I told myself, everyone finds peace in these things, don’t they?
In January 2020, right before covid evaded the world and made us prisons of our own house, I have been fortunate enough to travel. I visited my sister in California for 3 weeks and during the time I spent in the most beautiful city & particularly this one experience made me uncover the truth, the truth of being an astrophile.
As my sister & I always went for a walk during evenings, I started to reflect on the beauty of the sky & the Orion belt which brought me peace while illuminating the sky. Finding me mesmerised with the night sky, my sister decided to take me to “the international dark skies” over the weekend.
If you are in California, you love the palm trees, the therapeutic waves as they hit the pacific coast & your sun-kissed skin! We started early in the morning, it was a 2 hours drive. We went to La Jolla, San Diego & spent the day at Torrey Pines & as the sun went to brighten the sky for people on the other side of the globe, we drove for more than two hours to Anza Borrego State Park.
The ride was kinda scary as it was super dark! There was no artificial source of light & the rugged terrain and a challenging climate keeps the area’s night skies relatively dark. We finally arrived & found a good parking spot. As it got darker, the stars became brighter, covering the horizon with a blanket of lights.
The sky was so beautiful! Was I dreaming? Is this true? I’ve never seen so many stars in the sky. It was majestic & I have no words to describe the beauty I experienced! Subhan Allah! It was magical to witness something so authentic, something so beautiful & pure. How blessed are we to be a part of a wonderful world!
Reminds me of the verse from Quran (29:20)!
Say, [O Muhammad], “Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allah will produce the final creation. Indeed Allah, over all things, is competent.
The only thing we see is Orion belt but that’s not it!!! There are many more stars, planets, shooting stars visible to naked eye. These bright, twinkling stars have been watching mankind from ages, helping them travel in the dark. I wonder how breathtaking the view must be during summers when stardust puts up a show for us!
It’s a shame what light pollution does to the sky. These experiences, the beauty, the creation, nature & the things you witness when you travel- they change you! How fortunate are those who get to witness this everyday.
We drove back home & this time along with the moon, the stars followed us.
No matter how old I get, no matter where I go, the memory of this day, lives forever & my love for stars will never fade away.