Comets have inspired dread, fear, and awe in many different cultures and societies around the world and throughout time. They have been branded with such titles as “the Harbinger of Doom“ and “the Menace of the Universe.”
They have been regarded both as omens of disaster and messengers of the gods. Why is it that comets are some of the most feared and venerated objects in the night sky? Why did so many cultures cringe at the sight of a comet?
To reflect on these and other questions concerning comets, check out
As with most days, I was strolling down the long wide path which leads into our local Botanic Gardens, on to the river Kelvin. High wall on the left; low wall on the right, on which generations of small children have walked at their own special snail’s pace, an adult’s hand preventing them from tumbling the few feet down into the grassy, tree-filled slope leading to another path winding below.
Smiling, I was remembering my youngest nephew as a little boy tottering unsteadily but determinedly along that low wall, throwing monkey nuts to the voracious local grey squirrels……
I heard laughter, shrieks of it, looked down to its source on the lower path, and saw this zany sight:
“What are you doing?” I yelled to the two Sprites, accompanied by a third, slightly more soberly dressed and carrying a large, serious looking camera. ” You look fabulous! Can I take your picture?”
“Sure!” they shouted. “Come on down! We’re doing a photo-shoot.” So I jumped over the wall, down amongst the earth and leaves and trees, quite forgetting about my somewhat dodgy knee in my excitement. I took two photos. They were delighted.
“I can do this sort of thing now,” I said, “being in my mad old bat life phase.” And I told them they would be up on a post on my blog this very day. They were even more delighted.
I have no idea who they are. They have no idea who I am. But that moment of joyous, spontaneous friendliness certainly lit up my whole day. I hope it did the same for them….
300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2012
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