6 months ago

Joy Up

“Almost everything worthwhile carries with it some sort of risk, whether it’s starting a new business, whether it’s leaving home, whether it’s getting married, or whether it’s flying in space.”

-Chris Hadfield, Canadian Astronaut

Braedon Leonard

Have you ever seen a Meteor Shower?

We camped all the time as kids.  When I was 8 yrs old, the big summer camping trip was to Grand Bend, Ontario.  My parents told me that there was going to be a meteor shower that night.  At dark, I followed them down to the beach, not knowing what to expect.

Laying there in the sand, along the shores of Lake Huron, the seed (for what would grow into my Space obsession) was planted. There were approximately 150 shooting stars an hour, and with no light pollution, I didn’t miss a single one.  My young mind was discovering something new.  I have never stopped thinking about this night.  I know now, that this was the Perseids meteor shower.  It lights up the night sky every August – and it peaks soon!

Fast forward 15 years, and 2500 miles to the left – Vancouver, BC. Normally on a Friday night in Vancouver, I’d be out on the town with my ladies.  I was a college student, in my early 20’s and embracing every moment of the after dark shenanigans that I could handle. One Friday night, however, there was a free skywatch gathering going on at the UBC observatory – Saturn being the star of the show.

The ringed planet was in perfect alignment for optimal viewing.  This ranks as #2, in my experiences that are responsible for my growing love affair with the night sky. Imagine, if you will, looking through a high powered telescope and seeing Saturn, as clearly as you would if you were to open a book and see its picture.  282,000 km of rock, ice and water rings… I REALLY want to use a profanity here to get my point across at how mind blowing this was, but I’m not ready to upset my mother (yet… haha!).  If someone had tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hey, wanna know who assassinated JFK?”, I’d be like, “Meh – another time.”

The Space nerds on a Friday night were a different breed than the Friday night bar stars (lol… the space nerds should call themselves that… haha!), but I’ve got a big heart, and there’s room for both.

Now that I’m a mature young adult, my relationship with the night sky is more clearly defined.  As an 8 year old watching a meteor shower, it was like meeting a new friend – intriguing, neat and fun. As a 20 year old college student it was – ‘WOW, I’m really getting into this, and I need to know more!’ Now, my days are a chaotically beautiful mess.  Being the proud mother of 3 young kids and not only trying to keep them alive, but healthy and eating organic apples, keeping skates and minds sharp while dulling the meltdowns and nightmares – my relationship with the night sky is more purposeful, therapeutic and grounding.

If I’ve had a bad day, I hope for a clear night sky, so I can set up my telescope and hang out with the moon.  In a world where mindfulness and meditation is preached to be the answer to a loud and fast paced life, stargazing is the only way I can quiet my mind.

It doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you have, who has laughed with you or at you that day – we are all given the same opportunity… to just look up.

The stars, the moon, the Milky Way, they’ve been there ‘forever’.  They’ve seen our past, and they do not judge.  I’m so minuscule compared to the infiniteness of it, yet the connection I feel to the universe makes me feel larger than life! It is energy, it is endless, it is chaotic, and it is beautiful.

When creating the categories for joJOY, I knew that the night sky had to be included somehow.  ‘SEE JOY’ is inspired by the full moons, the meteor showers and the ongoing quests into deep space.  Although this category will include the abundance of beauty down here, I wanted you all to JOY UP with this post.  There will be plenty of time to get gushy over rattan later on.

SO – as I wrap up this intro to ‘SEE JOY’, I’ll leave you with some reason for the season of stargazing.

A Red, a White and a Starry Night 

 Red – Californian, White – Ontario, Canada.

– Perseids meteor shower peaks August 11/12th, 2017

– Solar eclipse, August 21st, 2017 (North America)

cheers, and enJOY!

xo jo

P.S. Don’t actually look at the solar eclipse. Love; me, your ophthalmologist and your mother.

P.S.S. Do you know who killed JFK?  It’s just another one of those ‘things’ I always have on my mind.


Edited by Sarah Kistler

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  1. Wow, I love this post! I just stumbled across your blog through Cup of Jo and I’m glad I did! This is beautifully written and a wonderful reminder about the vastness of the universe. Sometimes I forget to look up and marvel but when I do it’s always worth it. I was recently staying on Lake Ontario and the stars seemed close enough to touch. My husband is traveling to see the eclipse at 100%. I will be sure to tell him not to look at it directly!!

    1. Hey, thanks so much! Joanna Goddard was part of my inspiration to write a blog. Ironically enough, my personal email for the last 20 years has been ‘cup_a_jo’. Funny how life shows you when you’re on the right path!

      Keep looking up! And thanks again for your kind words. It’s nice to get comments like this when you’re a newbie❤ xojo

  2. Another gift from jojoy.ca
    Thanks for this post
    I could never count how many nights i ve spent camping. Sadly i didn t spend enough evenings just simply looking UP while out there! Rick and i went out last week before the moon rose and in between the cloud cracks we managed to see 2

    Thank you
    Can t wait for next year’s show

    We ll make sure to be out at the lake

    1. Thanks Micheline!
      Glad you enjoyed reading JOY UP! I really feel strongly about the night sky. It’s cheap therapy😂! Haha… I appreciate you taking the time to read my post, comment AND to look up. 💓💓💓xo jo

  3. We have laid on our backs on our pontoon in the black dark and shouted out every time we saw a shooting star! Shawn claimed to have seen many and I pretended to see them too hoping I would actually see one! A very awesome experience⭐️💫

    1. Love it. This is what life is all about… things that are just there waiting to be appreciated… costs nothing, doesn’t ask for anything in return. Keep looking up Suzanne and Shawn! 💓


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