Rockets At Night

March 19, 2009

Growing up in Central Florida, I saw dozens of rockets streak across the sky. They became part of the landscape. That’s not to say they weren’t memorable. Especially at dusk while I fished in our lake from a row boat with my father. One of us would spot the trail of fire, and we’d watch until it became a pinprick of light, like an evening star only moving.

Coming across random photos of the latest space shuttle launch, I thought of those evenings — the air hot and damp, the oar locks creaking, birds settling into the reeds.

Even more memorable was seeing the pressure of life on land escape from my father’s every pore. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, the excursions were never about fishing.