I reached the age of 21 having never seen a shooting star. This isn't because I was a poor lil' city girl with too much light pollution. No; summer trips to Maine provided ample opportunity and my brother and sister both took advantage. Though I heard many breathless "there goes one!"s, I never saw one myself. I've concluded that it was a lack of patience.
I was an impatient child and nervous in general. I used to have these weird imaginings that I now describe as vertigo-like. I recently learned that vertigo is not just a fear of heights with accompanying dizziness and what not, but that it often affects people with a feeling that they may just jump. The feeling that I used to happen was a "what-if". I would run quickly across a street and see a flash in my mind of the "what if a truck had come barreling-down the road at that moment?" scenario. Add an untied shoe and the vision would entail skinned hands, faces, knees, etc. The severity of the "what if" was dependent on how nervous I'd been. This is the sort of girl who does not watch clouds pass and does not catch sight of shooting stars.
The first time that I DID see a shooting star was the first time I was living "alone". That is, it was the first time that I was not living with family or a boyfriend. I was living with one of those typical nightmare housemates. She had a proper job and stuck memos on my door concerning frozen waffels and I was in heaven. That summer my sister was getting married and as if she'd planned it, there was a meteor shower. She was living far away and had rented a beach house with a load of friends and the house was lively and full in the days before and after the wedding. Luckily we had some sisterly alone time, some of which took place in a life-gaurd chair with faces sky-word, our catching-up interrupted by "there's another one!"s.
I'm a bit nervous about my up-coming trip to the States. Sunday, I had a number of old familiar "what-if" flashes. I was crossing a train track with my husband and saw of a flash of Ivo alone as a train rushed by and me with it. Running down the steep staircase in the train station later I saw the trip and fall that could be my death .
Monday I had yoga and have not had a what-if since. Monday night there was a meteor shower and on my walk home I craned my neck and looked skyward. When crossing the street I looked left and right, but anything that might have made me trip on my path home went ignored as I searched through the light polution and high fog. I didn't see any meteors, but I know for certain that it wasn't for lack of patience and my mind isn't even wondering how it would be if I'd seen one.