When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s my grandparents lived in Rancho Mirage, California, a neighbor city to the famed Palm Springs. There was still quite a bit of open desert within the city then and the population was a fraction of what it is now. On warm summer nights, my two brothers and I would grab a towel and head out to the swimming pool in the backyard. There we would recline on the chaise lounges and stare up at the night sky. Back then, before the legions of golf courses, there was very little humidity in the air, often as low as ten percent. During the day you could look at the distant mountains and swear you could make out a mountain goat making his way up the rocks. During the night, the sky was like a black sheet someone had pricked a million holes in to let the light through. My brothers and I would compete to see how many satellites we could catch crossing our view, and if you saw a shooting star, even better. Watching the night sky in the warm desert made me feel wonder and appreciation for our planet. Today there are millions of more city lights there and much more humidity so those star-filled skies are something from the past. I am so happy my brothers and I were smart enough back then to turn off the television and head outside for the real show.
- Christie Davis, 2020