Monday, 23 January 2012

Orion's Belt

As a young girl, growing up in Edinburgh, it was not unusual for me to be put to bed, only to find myself being lifted out of bed a few hours later, placed in a sleeping bag in the back of the car and driven to my Uncle's house in Aberdeenshire. I would wake up next morning at my favourite Uncle's house and have a wonderful weekend in the countryside.

My parents cunning plan was to do the journey while the three of us were sleeping so as to avoid the endless chorus of "are we nearly there yet?"and sibling squabbles over who got the window seat. 

I must admit that it worked most of the time, but every now and then there was a night when I didn't sleep through the whole journey and sat looking up at the stars shining far more brightly than they ever did through the city lights.

My brother and sister would search for the plough (also known as the big dipper or the big bear).
Image from here
Not me.
 I would always look out for Orion's belt.

Image from here

There was something about that constellation that caught my imagination. The big hunter in the sky with his sword tucked in his belt.

Image from here
Living in New Zealand there are times when I feel very far away from my family. At these times, I often find myself wandering outside in the dark before I go to bed and looking up at the sky, breathing in the clean New Zealand air and reminding myself why we chose to live here.

When I first arrived the sky seemed so foreign. There was no plough in site and it took me a while to learn to recognise the Southern Cross.
BUT...

 Shining down on me is the one constellation that brings a smile to my face.

I like to think that he is standing on his head!

I don't know why but it brings me such great comfort to see the big man up there in the stars and to realise that my Dad, brother and sister can see him too, but it does!

8 comments:

  1. What a sweet post, it brought a tear or three to my eye
    I lay on the ground whilst camping and looked up at the sky in wonder at ALL the stars SO SO SO many more than when in the city - I don't know/wouldn't recognise Orion's Belt but I'm sure if you'd been there with me you'd have found him xxx

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  2. What a lovely post. Last year I had the good fortune to get to go up the Mt John observatory at Tekapo for some guided star gazing - Orion was one of the ones that really stuck with me too

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  3. Nothing like a gaze up at the night sky to make you feel better about stuff, especially when it evokes such happy memories. We spent several nights at Matariki trying to identify the matariki cluster but failed. My husband came home in great excitement yesterday to report that you can get an iphone app which you point at the sky and it tells you the constellation!!!

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  4. cool post. I too love the sameness and feeling of closeness the stars bring. Knowing someone a world away can enjoy the same ones makes me feel close to them

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  5. What a lovely post. I grew up in and still live near Balerno and we would often look up at the stars in the dark sky over the pentlands, orions belt was the only constellation I could ever reliably spot, am a wee bit better now but not much!!

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  6. Orion is one of my favourite constellations :) I remember just how bright the stars used to look driving down dark country roads.

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  7. I love the way your parents think!

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  8. When I was a child, my dad would take us out to lie on the ground and he would point out the constellations. Orion was one of them. He is gone now, but I still feel close to him when I gaze at the stars. What a gift he gave to me. Thank you for the lovely post.

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