The Night The Sky Was Quiet

If you’re like me, you have always since a child looked up at the night sky, wondering what’s out there, what you’re seeing, where the objects moving are going. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a small girl. I am amazed at the beauty of the unknown, especially that seen only at night. That’s why the night the sky was quiet will always remain as one of my most memorable memories, yet the saddest ever.
As you’ve heard me say before, we are members of the Doss Wildlife Management Area census line. We, along with several neighbors, drive for a total of 5 miles of land counting deer, marking doe, fawn, buck, and unknown, to complete our census line. These trips are done 3 different times, 2 weeks apart each, to get a better average for the census. These census numbers are used to determine the best suggested harvest numbers of bucks and does for our area by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
I absolutely love these census trips, because I am so excited to get a foretaste of the deer we should be seeing in the coming hunting season. It’s also exciting because you never know just what you will see on these trips, be it hogs, coyotes, bobcats, etc. Then on the trip home, after you have driven to the stopping point of the census, we drive back on the back of the truck to the starting point again. That trip is always beautiful, because we stargaze the whole way back.
Usually these days it’s spent looking at the Big and Little Dipper, pointing them out to my 8 year old, Holt, along with other constellations that I was fortunate to learn about in college Astronomy. Then Kevin tells us what the moving objects are, such as planes, satellites, etc. At the specific time I’m talking about, Holt was not yet born, however. That night, the sky was quiet and still, unlike any other.
The night I am speaking of was the night of September 11, 2001, or 911. After the destruction and sadness of such a day, being this far away from the tragedy, our lives were not as effected except for the emotional turmoil that the entire country experienced. We decided to still count our census, with heavy hearts and minds, but to continue on as we knew how. The enjoyment that is usually part of those nights was clearly set aside however. This sadness was not near as apparent until the drive back to the vehicles. I cannot say I’ve ever seen such a quiet, sad sky. There was no movement, not a light of a plane, not a satellite that we could see, nothing. I believe with my whole heart that though we couldn’t see them, the stars themselves were weeping for the lives lost, and the thoughts and fears of this beautiful country. That was the night I’ll never forget, the night the sky was quiet.
In the words of the beautiful Alan Jackson song, where were you when the world stopped turning, on that September day?

Feb 25, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: none


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