We sat out in the lawn chairs craning our necks back into impossible poses to gain the maximum field of view. The stars here in Montana are a force regardless. Four or five thousand feet closer is a baby step in star distance, but it feels like coming from a foreign country into the neighborhood. I know it is also lack of light pollution and atmospheric differences, but the change registers more poetic than a result of facts. The stars are uncountable even in small sections of sky. They are clumped into constellations or flying solo, big and bright trying to compete with the sun or small intense pinpoints. In the Milky Way they gather into star clouds. I ask myself aloud every single time if we really are part of that galaxy. But all this is just the usual nightly wonder. Last night the Persied Meteor Shower
played out its fireworks in front of us while lightning continued to sheet across the Little Belts to the north of us as a side stage. We called out to each other, cheering at each amazing tracer that refused to dim and reluctantly went in when our eyes refused to say open.