The night was perfect. Unusually clear sky. Stars shining brightly at about 9 p.m. The phone app, ISS Detector, had signaled the impending flyover of the International Space Station, and it was going to be almost directly overhead on an arc from horizon to horizon for about five minutes.
I stood in my backyard, phone in hand, watching the image of an approaching Space Station coming closer and closer to my viewing spot. And then, there it was rising above the trees, ascending into better view. It shines because its height above the earth is actually reflecting the sunshine off its surface.
Seven astronauts doing their space thing flying along at about 17,000 miles per hour, with all that technology and science. I am in awe to be able to watch such an event. It gets me every time, and this one was perfect.
About one mile away, workers and volunteers were still setting up for the annual Farm Club Antique Tractor Show. I guess tractors were still arriving and being moved into their places for display even at that hour. I could hear the deep chug of a tractor being moved, the kind of sound that only an antique tractor can make. It’s not a smooth whir of an engine, but a deep, single sound of an engine: chug…chug…chug…chug.
I listened to this tractor while watching the Space Station fly over, and it was such a contrast in technology. Overhead is this marvel of technology and science flying silently across the sky, and over at the farm, an antique tractor fills the air with its marvelous low-end mechanical sound. Viewing one and hearing the other was an observation in how far we have come as a civilization. It was surreal.
It is fun to watch such an event with others, to talk about that magnificent object flying overhead. We would have talked about the Space Station until it was out of sight. But, I was solo on this night. If there had been others, I might not have heard the antique tractor which made it surreal. Was being alone meant to be? Fate? Karma? Synchronicity? Perhaps.
I can’t wait until the next time the Space Station flies over.
See you on the highway.