Counting Stars


For the first time in my life, I saw a sky full of stars. It was the night of the 31st in the Atacama desert in Bolivia, on our second night in the basic lodge. If it weren’t so cold I would probably have stayed out even more. There was even the Milky Way, and several galaxies (pale white clusters).

Tonight in San Pedro de Atacama, walking back under a canopy of stars, I could finally understand why our ancestors were such great astronomers. Because when it is pitch black, and you look up, all you could see are these diamonds in the night sky winking back at you. You wonder, is there anyone out there? I could not stop looking up.

In today’s cities, we see 5 stars max at night, of which 3 are probably satellites. So its no wonder that we do not have ‘astronomers’ like we had in the ancient times. There was no distraction too, to figure out what the stars mean. If I were them, I would dedicate celestial beings to them too. And someone long ago figured out that these stars are the only constant in the night, to be used for navigation, for poetry and for divinity.

This might sound too romantic, but watching a glorious sunset in the evening and sleeping under a starry canopy every day sounds just perfect.