Growing up off the grid in central Maine, with our nearest neighbors a mile away and no light pollution, I sometimes took the stars for granted. On the coldest, clear nights, when I’d go to the outhouse, while everyone was sleeping and the fire in the woodstove had died down with only the thinnest bit of smoke rising from the chimney among the pines, the sky would be full of them. I remember, some late summer nights, my Dad would wake us up around 3 am and we would bring our sleeping bags through a sliding upstairs window and onto the roof of the cabin to have a comfortable view of the Perseids showers. It would be absolutely dark except for what came from the shooting stars and the moon and the Milky Way curving above us. My father excitedly pointed out constellations to me and my siblings – showing us the Pleiades and Orion and I would have a feeling of both being incredibly small and somehow as big as the universe.
- Keliy Anderson-Staley, 2020