On the Big Screen

Our new house comes with a big screen. That is, a big flat TV screen that (shhh…don’t tell Jeb) has cable.

We are typically a TV-free home. I’ve never actually owned a television. We get our fair share of media, but it’s always been through selective web searches or our Netflix subscription (which can I just say, is fairly silly, as over 50% of the time the movie we want to ‘watch instantly’ is “unavailable”).

Still sampling dimmer switches and exploring cupboard spaces in our new home, the Bohemian and I take the opportunity to check out cable TV while Jeb is gone for the night. The possibilities seem endless with channels galore.

Much to our dismay, we scan through 100 channels of television commercials, impassioned “news” programs, sports highlights and late night TV hosts chatting about nothing. We turn it off and wander outside.

It’s a dark, new moon night. We lay a blanket on the grass and go horizontal to the sky. The summer air is warm, the scent of puakinikini mingling with the melody of crickets.

“So show me where you’re from up there,” the Bohemian says.

My eyes scan the constellations for a hint. I sigh. “I don’t remember.”

But I do remember the first time I really saw this big screen display. I was five years old in the foothills, cozy inside the light blue, down sleeping bag next to a fire. The sky so black, the stars so infinite. I was in awe. Staring until my eyelids fell deeply into sleep.

“Look at that satellite,” the Bohemian points. “It’s going so fast.”

And it is. Moving with great speed through starlight.

“I wonder what it’s doing up there.”

He laughs. “Probably trying to find something good to put on TV.”

We rest in quiet. Watch occasional clouds cover stellar patches, whisping peeks of keyholes to the cosmos.

Then we both see it. The strong, white streak arching overhead. We catch our breath at the display. Feel the elation of beholding a shared vision.

Shooting stars will never be dull.

“Now that…was fast!”

photo courtesy of Lai Ryanne
photo courtesy of Lai Ryanne

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