What a Weird Life

October 29, 2003

[Pleiades]I was there last night when my son began to develop cosmic awareness.

Our children do not watch TV; they would much rather use their “screen time” allowance for games. Trevor in particular is quite single-minded; the GameCube is his favorite thing in the whole world. But the language of electronic games permeates the lives of all three children. Even when they are playing something physical like a tickle war, they will often say, “Pause the game.”

We live in San Jose. It’s funny that the self-proclaimed “Capitol of Silicon Valley” does not feel like a big city. San Francisco, now that’s a big city — folks here refer to it as simply “The City.” San Jose feels more like an overgrown town, and the stars are surprisingly clear where we live. On exceptionally clear and cool nights, I can still make out the dim line of the Milky Way wandering across the sky.

Last night as Trevor and I came home from Cub Scouts, he looked up.

Trevor: Look at all the stars! Look, there are a bunch of them close together.

Me: Those are the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. I can see five of them.

Trevor: I can see six of them.

Me: Your eyes are better than mine, then.

Trevor: What a weird life!

Me: Huh?

Trevor: We’re in this one small area, when there are lots of areas.

I was there last night when my son began to develop cosmic awareness.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

3 responses to What a Weird Life

  1. He is wise, that one! Sounds like the Lord of Grace has given him a special gift. 🙂

  2. the city of san jose actually chose to keep the streetlights dimmed to a level where the stars are visible. a couple years ago, nasa (or some astronomical group) thanked them by naming a comet (or something cosmic) after the city. one of my college fellowship people who was doing his post doc in astronomy at ucsc (which has the #1 astronomy grad program in the country) told me about it.

  3. Yupp, it’s because of Lick Observatory – the city agreed to use yellowish streetlights that emit less light, and whose light is easily separated on the spectrum from the star light that Lick wants to observe. Just a bit of trivia.