Back in January, I wrote about this time I drove from Seattle to Las Vegas.
One thing I didn't mention about that drive was what happened after 3:41 AM that Saturday morning.
So I'll write about it now.
At about 1:00 AM I was just barely into Nevada. I'd driven all day, and I was pretty tired. I'd read that Nevada laws allowed overnight parking on the side of the road, so that's what I did. I left the two-lane highway, drove a short distance down some unmarked gravel road, and pulled off onto the shoulder to get some sleep.
I was out almost immediately.
At 3:41 AM I woke up. The clock in my dashboard was just incredibly bright so I definitely knew what time it was. That clock is burned into my brain.
I stumbled out of the car to take a piss.
About halfway through my piss I guess I woke the rest of the way up or something, because I noticed.
The stars. Those stars are also burned into my brain.
I'd gone 28 years without ever really seeing the heavens. I guess most people go their whole lives without it. City lights brighten the night sky, drowning out all but the brightest stars. Air pollution puts a haze over everything. Most people don't even notice. Most people don't even question what they're missing.
I know, because I was one of those people. Until that night.
That night, that late hour, that remote location, that high altitude - all had combined to provide me with a display that was quite simply breathtaking. It still gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
It was like the sky had decided to show off just for me. The Milky Way, shit I still can't get that image out of my head. It was like a pearlescent scarf, stretching from horizon to horizon. Easily the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
And the colors. The night sky is not black and white. It's full of every color imaginable. You just have to see it to believe it.
On that night, at that time, beside that unnamed Nevada road, I was truly humbled for the first time. I knew then that my problems were nothing. There I was, fretting about a love that could never be, while the entire universe spread itself out before me.
I just stood there, enthralled, for hours. This was as close to a religious experience as I've ever had. I remember thinking that anything so beautiful just had to be planned. Just had to have a purpose. It was hard to accept that what I was seeing was real at all. It just couldn't be random.
When the Sun rose, and the stars dimmed, I realized that I'd been crying. For I had seen God. And He in turn had shown me myself.