Monday, December 29, 2008
It was a few days before Christmas so we toured the neighbourhood, boots crunching in the snow, and checked out the Christmas lights on people's houses. We held hands, we skipped, we sang "Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer" at the tops of our lungs and laughed at how loud it sounded. We stopped and chatted with a neighbour shovelling his driveway, and another, heading out on a night-time cross-country ski session. We made odd-shaped dents in snowbanks by sitting on them.
When we turned the last corner before our street, we were looking into the deep indigo of the western sky. Venus and Jupiter were blazing diamonds surrounded by a dusting of stars. We stopped and looked for a moment. It was magical. We talked about stars and planets, and the differences between them.
Leah: Which one is Jupiter and which one is Venus?
Me: The higher, brighter one is Venus. The one lower and to the right is Jupiter. We can't see Jupiter very often from Earth without a telescope.
Leah: How do you know those are planets and not stars?
Me: The planets are bigger and brighter, because they're closer. And they don't twinkle like stars do.
Leah: Venus is so beautiful.
Me: Isn't it.
Rachel: Venus creeps me out.
Rachel: Because it rhymes with penis.
Me: . . .
I wonder if Emily Dickinson's mum ever had days like that.