I Saw the Stars in April


Image courtesy NASA.

An exceptionally clear night a couple of years ago made me stop and stare. There was a star that was so bright that I wondered for a moment if it was a plane. “Don’t be silly,” I thought, “Plane trips are way down.” Besides, it was white, it wasn’t flashing, and it wasn’t moving.

I realized later that it was Venus. And I could see other stars as well — dimmer, but still there. I’m nowhere near enough of a star gazer to pick out constellations, but I was impressed that this was the first time in a while that I could actually see the stars.

Of course, I immediately thought that this was due to the substantial reduction in air pollution resulting from us staying home and sheltering in place, and it may well have been.

But I also realized that, honestly, that until January 31st, there was no way I could reasonably see stars. Thanks to my cataracts, I was hard pressed to see the Moon with any clarity. And this had been developing slowly but steadily over the previous two years that I’d just forgotten that the stars were out there. Just like I didn’t realize that I was looking at the world through a yellow haze until the haze disappeared from my left eye following the first surgery. The world did not suddenly get a lot brighter, it just seemed that way.

In other news, it’s now been six days since I last saw the inside of a grocery store. For someone who went out to the store often to get small things for meals and supplies as they were needed, this has been a pretty big adjustment. But thanks to Erin’s meal planning, we’ve done well, I think. We have plenty of things still to eat, even eggs and bacon and toilet paper.

The limiting factor appears to be milk. Apparently, two four-litre bags of milk aren’t enough to hold a family of four for a whole week, even if we purchase two cartons of soy for our tea and coffee. Ah, well. A third bag should do the trick, at least.

Though I must say, if anybody wants to bring back daily curbside delivery of milk, I am in.

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