Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Whole New World

This Christmas, the box I found under the tree was really enormous. A few seconds later, I was holding an enormous tube - as it turns out, my gateway to the universe. After quite a bit of fiddling with intricately-made parts, I got its equatorial mount into something like the correct configuration, and there it stood: a brand-new fully-functioning Newtonian reflecting telescope of my very own.

Our neighbour, mid-phase, pictured by
camera phone through a
big, big telescope

Unfortunately, the weather did not co-operate that night; when it did clear though, what sights! Our near neighbour I saw as never before, plains and mountains picked out clear as anything in the razor-sharp shadows along the edge of lunar day; I particularly remember a tall peak catching the sun from an otherwise night-befallen crater. On moonless nights, I found huge numbers of stars where my unaided eye had seen only blank space; happened by chance upon a huge glowing nebula... absolutely astonishing sights.

Friday, January 11, 2008

At First Sight

I went along on the trip to the hospital only because I knew there might be bad news; expected just to stay in the waiting room, brought a thick novel to keep me occupied. Then, they let both of us into the radiologist's examining room, where I sat with eyes glued to the monitor looming above the workstation.

Then, there you were - in fuzzy, monochromatic cross-section, but suddenly, magically, real and complete. I looked in wonder at your tiny beating heart, the lobes of your brain... and a little nose that your mother immediately attributed to her side of the family. You lay on your back, and kicked your little legs... and then one hand came up, as if to wave, and made our heats jump.

Some day near mid-summer, when this waiting winter is far behind us, I'm hoping to see you again, no longer ultrasonic echoes relayed in digital monochrome, but warm and noisy and pink, as you lie for the first time in your mother's arms.