The last time I remember really feeling absolute peace with my life and happy in the world is earlier this year when my two good friends and I went out to Joshua Tree National Park in Twentynine Palms, California. I wanted to go to watch the Perseid meteor shower under the clear, wide-open sky of the Mojave desert so we headed there late and settled into our campsite by about 11p. We found a spot to lay out on a giant rock and just stared up into the immense sky. We played some music from a small portable radio but once the shower started everything got silent.
To me it was something similar to how Charlie felt in the novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky in the scene where he, Sam, and Patrick drive through the tunnel. Charlie, high off weed, stands up in the bed of his friend’s truck as it is going fast in a tunnel and Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” is blasting from the stereo. When they come out of the tunnel all of downtown is in front of them. Charlie writes that “in that moment, i swear we were infinite.” Well, this is something like how i felt. Without being on drugs, I felt high. I felt like anything was possible and all was right because what I was witnessing was so beautiful. Being away from all the white noise of the city and in the natural surroundings of the desert made me feel, for lack of a better word, infinite.
“It was a marvelous night, the sort of night one only experiences when one is young. The sky was so bright, and there were so many stars that, gazing upward, one couldn’t help wondering how so many whimsical, wicked people could live under such a sky.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky
Here is a time-lapse video of the meteor shower from Joshua Tree:
Alas, the feeling, like everything else, was transitory and probably won’t occur again or at least not in the same way.
The Leonid meteor shower happens tonight/this morning so catch it if you can. I wish I was somewhere where I;d be able to see it but instead I will probably be at home in bed sound asleep.