At the beachside late at night
the sea breeze drifts in, cool and light
the wavelets lap and the palm leaves rustle
far removed from life’s hustle and bustle
and the humdrum of its daily tussles
And high above the sea’s expanse
in their silent celestial dance
in a grand show which they perform nightly
the constellations shine so brightly
They slowly rise from the horizon yonder
bearing images and myths of wonder
And as the nighttime cosmos stretches outwards
the mind and soul search deeply inwards
The clouds that drift slowly on by
hide partly from nocturnal eyes
the fragile and ethereal signs
displayed in the night skies
These distant twinkling points of light
which punctuate the skies at night
have fired up the imaginations
with endless interpretations –
and for countless generations
have even steered the fates of nations…
And I remember one clear night
I strained to view the skies just right
and could only barely see
glowing faintly o’er the sea –
the Andromeda Galaxy!
CONTEXTUAL NOTES: I still remember the first time I tried to view the Andromeda Galaxy (I had been studying a little bit of astronomy at the time) – I went out to the beach at about two o’clock in the morning, away from the neighborhood streetlights, and strained to see it. It is very faint and dim.
FYI: The Andromeda Galaxy is rather similar to our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and is over two million light years away. It is in the Andromeda constellation, and, for those in the Northern hemisphere, is most easily viewed during the Autumn months.
GRAPHIC TRICKS: The original image, which is a lithograph, actually reads in reverse as compared to how it is shown here. I did a “horizontal flip” of it on computer here!