I had a dream.
Standing in a park, I look up at the night sky and see the milky way; a stripe of stars and nebulae, with cosmic clouds and dust in high definition. It’s like heaven; a beautiful array of navy, purple, green and pink, with millions of white, red, and blueish specks. There in the cosmic chaos, I see a familiar dust pillar…
I can’t help but smile at the kind sight of the Eagle Nebula. After an admiring pause, I eagerly continue to search with my eyes that galactic stripe for more wonders and notice two large, identical, circular clusters. To the normal human eye they should appear like two closely put stars…but in the dream, I have telescope vision and see that they are much, much more.
Each cluster is made up of millions of individual stars; yet together, those giant stellar formations are living beings. The tiny star specks act like cells and put together they make a body. In this way, two stellar bodies are watching me; like eyes of the universe, whispering something to my heart.
The sky is what I imagine our ancestors saw in times long ago, before electricity, and when the stars were closer at hand (did you know that the stars have been rapidly moving away?).
So there I was, standing in the park (the tree reservation) entranced by stellar beings when suddenly, several bright looming stadium lights turn on. Shielding my face from the harassing lights, I searched the night for stars again, but light pollution had thrust them back into an invisible prison that is the city sky.
The stadium lights belonged to a mining factory that was in full swing now. Reluctantly aware of its activities, I found myself turning away from the sky to dodge anvils and barrels like a crash bandicoot video game; I was jumping over trucks, ducking under swinging cranes, sliding past exploding boxes…
Finally, the obstacles conquered, a group of mine workers saw me trespassing and came for my arrest. I made a feeble attempt to escape, but it was clear I had been caught. The miners were about 20 feet away when I stopped running and turned back towards them- or rather, towards the sky behind them.
I don’t quite remember being tackled, tied up, or escorted away because all the while I was too busy looking over the broad shoulders and shiny helmets of my arresters. I strained with all my might to see that galactic sky again, and indeed, such was my yearning that I induced illusionary flashbacks. Memories of star creatures and colorful nebulae intermingled with the blank, canvas reality- that the factory lights were too bright to see anything anymore.
Then I woke up.
Eagle Nebula Photo by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope
NGC 922 Galaxy Photo by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope
Stadium Lights Photo from picstopin