One of the benefits of a trip to America is getting hold of stuff you can’t get hold of over here. One of the things I most wanted to find on our recent road trip were CDs by a Canadian band called The Tragically Hip.
So, a couple of record stores in Salt Lake City later, I had managed to locate three albums, plus ‘Yer Favourites’, which has 38 songs spread over two CDs. I’ve been listening to them a lot since I got home. One of the songs I’m loving is Bobcaygeon, which includes a line about seeing the constellations ‘reveal themselves one star at a time’.
It’s a mellow song, and when I hear it, it reminds me of sitting on the edge of the desert at the back of The Desert Rose Inn in Bluff. Cathy and I were swaying on a double swing looking out into the darkness. Above us the sky was full of stars. It’s always full of stars, but it’s only when you get out into the desert that you realise it, because there’s no Earth-bound light to drown them out.
(Incidentally, I think that’s why religions seem to start in the wildernesses of the world - because only there can you look up and see out into the cosmos, and appreciate the vastness and the grandeur, and your own place in it.)
We swung slowly in the desert’s cool night air and watched the constellations glittering far above us. Then from nowhere a bright orange shooting star flared and died in an amber streak across the heavens; a picture show by the universe just for us, it felt.