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Stargazing

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One summer night, out on a flat headland all but surrounded by the waters of the bay, the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space. Millions of stars blazed in darkness, and on the far shore a few lights burned in cottages; otherwise, there was no reminder of human life. My companion and I were alone with the stars; the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon.

It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be seen many scores of nights in any year, and so the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead. And because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will.

– Rachel Carson

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