Are we alone

Are we alone

A Story by alanwgraham
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Thinking about our place in the universe

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Are we alone?



  

There’s something about stargazing that’s good for the soul.

It takes you out of yourself. It makes you forget about your troubles.

It makes you feel small, but it forces you to think big!

 

If I want to see the night sky really clear and star-sharp I climb to the top of the hill beyond the village and I lay down just as the suns rays are disappearing. I wrap up my coat and put it under my head. In a little time the first star appears and in no time the sky is ablaze.

 

I remember when I was young I just gazed up with what I suppose was a sense of wonder. It’s the sense of wonder that you don’t get often - maybe holding a new born babe, maybe the view from a mountain top or maybe your first view of a rainbow.  The night sky is just so - words fail you here - damn big and impressive! 

 

At first you just glance up and it seems like a great handful of sparkle has been thrown over the night sky. It’s awe-inspiring in a mindless sort of way but then you watch more carefully over a while and you start to notice things. Things like; the pattern of stars stays the same from night to night; this star pattern rotates round in the sky during the course of the night; there are some stars (lets call them planets) that wander through the star pattern in a predictable way from night to night and month to month. You’ll notice a great band of milky light that straddles the sky - it appears to contain stars without number.  

 

If you keep watching long enough you’ll notice some special things that happen. You’ll see what look like stars that shoot across the sky brightly and burn out. There will be more of these at certain times of the year. Occasionally you’ll notice brighter stars that move through the star pattern slowly with glowing tails. At times you’ll be awestruck by stunning curtains of coloured light that flicker in the northern sky.

 

At some point, if you have an enquiring mind, you’ll move onto the next stage and start to ask questions. Are the stars like our sun? How are the planets and sun arranged? (one of the tougher questions!) Where did the stars come from? (seriously tough!)

 

Then my thoughts moved on to my (our) place in this celestial grandeur. All these stars that I can see look like they might be like the sun but further away. Is it possible that they too have their own group of planets? Could there be planets circling round some of these stars that have life on them? Is it possible that some of that life might be like us?

 

My advice is don’t waste your time thinking about this - if you had as many astronomers as there are stars in the universe you’ll still never get the answer. The truth is that no-one will ever know. We’re stuck here and always will be, and so are they (if they exist), and never the twain will meet! End of story!

 

But - we can’t stop thinking!   

 

Later in the night the yellow moon rose over the Azure Mountains and dimmed the stars - and my speculations. Some time later our second moon, larger, brighter and of a reddish hue appeared and the stars disappeared altogether. My stargazing was over for the night and after slipping on my coat, I lit my lamp and retraced my steps carefully to the village. 

 

However, I was still pondering the question that a night of stargazing always seems to swirl around in my mind.

 

Are we alone? 


© 2018 alanwgraham



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Featured Review

Words do fail when you are watching something as awe inspiring as the stars…..which makes it kinda difficult to mention in a story, but you’ve done a great job here with it Alan.
I doubt there will ever be a resolution to our many thoughts of the night sky, but it sure beats being stuck in front of the telly 



Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

7 Months Ago

I'm lucky to have spent a lot of time out in the dark and high in the mountains where the sky is ama.. read more



Reviews

Your fantastic write really makes us wonder are we really alone?
A wonderful read...Thank you for sharing!
-GS

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

5 Months Ago

Thanks GS for your mind words. Star watching does put us in our place which is good.
Regards,.. read more
Your story was absolutely breathtaking. Every word you released, transported me to a picture, a film, in which I myself, am watching the sparkling sky with great wonder. Fantastic vocabulary enwraps your work, as it only encourages the magnificent atmosphere. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us.

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

5 Months Ago

Wow. What a great review. Thanks again. It is wonderful and we are fortunate if we can be in awe at .. read more
Star gazing is just wonderful, it really opens up the mind to all kinds of thought. Where we came from, is there other life out there. There is something so magnificent about the night sky. Everyone should take the time to study it. One of the things on my bucket list is to see the Northern lights. As a poet, the heavens have featured in some of my work and I have written about the Northern lights as well. I really enjoy your style of writing Alan, and this subject is just my cup of tea. Thank you.

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Christine Anne Shaw

6 Months Ago

That is a clever ending Alan. Certainly a twist. Lucky you seeing the aurora, I have only seen it on.. read more
alanwgraham

6 Months Ago

Ta. Probably a walk and then writing group tonight. I'll be trying to scare them!
Christine Anne Shaw

6 Months Ago

Ha, ha. You will with that piece I reviewed yesterday
This is probably one my favorite feelings: facing something grander than yourself which it's presence and beauty sums into something magnificently complex.
The unknown is still too humongous for our minds yet so present.

Posted 6 Months Ago


Words do fail when you are watching something as awe inspiring as the stars…..which makes it kinda difficult to mention in a story, but you’ve done a great job here with it Alan.
I doubt there will ever be a resolution to our many thoughts of the night sky, but it sure beats being stuck in front of the telly 



Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

7 Months Ago

I'm lucky to have spent a lot of time out in the dark and high in the mountains where the sky is ama.. read more
Are we alone?
I've been pondering over this since I read this.
Almost pictured myself stargazing!!

Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

8 Months Ago

Thanks Ayesha. I think no but we probably will not know the answer unless they find us first. Meanwh.. read more
i have done the same things as i`m sure we all have and i came to the conclusion at a young age as to who they are,not are they there but who and why..now that i`m older i still wonder who they really are

Posted 8 Months Ago


I love this! Your writing is more poetic & lyrical than usual here, yet there's also your signature cerebral treatment, where you analyze things even as you present your observations artfully. It's a tantalizing combination & I recommend that you do it more often! This reminds me of when I had legs that worked & I could hike to the top of any mountain with ease . . . it gave me the same sensations as you describe so eloquently in paragraph 3 . . . the hugeness which makes all the pettiness of everyday life very forgettable. I also like the way this is written in a more conversational tone than is your usual style. It almost feels like I'm going there with you & you're showing me the way (((HUGS))) fondly, Margie

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

9 Months Ago

Sorry to ignore your main query in this poem . . . it's so strong & compelling, I forgot to mention .. read more
alanwgraham

9 Months Ago

Sorry for that - I think I must be from another planet. By the way I've taken up your suggestion of .. read more
barleygirl

9 Months Ago

Oh this is going to be worth the wait! *smile*
A wonderful evening of star-gazing, ending with a Bradbury twist--I love it. My first keen interest was in airplanes, which later became rockets and spaceships. News of the Sputnik launch and America's efforts to counter were as exciting to me as Santa Claus. I built plastic models of anything aeronautical and dreamed of space flight. I lay in the yard on summer nights, scanning the heavens for a passing satellite (Telstar) and also for UFO's. I became very interested in sci-fi, the works of Bradbury, Rod Serling and other writers of the late 50's and early 60's. I learned about lenses and tried to build telescopes. Eventually, Dad bought me a cheap store-bought one and I saw some of Jupiter's moons. You see why I like this so much?

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

9 Months Ago

Thanks Samuel - and I've got another story for free wrapped up in a review. Yes - it was so exciting.. read more
Samuel Dickens

9 Months Ago

I'm sorry I got carried away, blabbering on about myself like that.
alanwgraham

9 Months Ago

Not at all Samuel. It was great that you took the time write back in such a personal and pertinent w.. read more
Your story was absolutely breathtaking. Every word you released, transported me to a picture, a film, in which I myself, am watching the sparkling sky with great wonder. Fantastic vocabulary enwraps your work, as it only encourages the magnificent atmosphere. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us.

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

9 Months Ago

Thanks for reading. I hope you have the chance to see the night sky sometimes. If you live in the ci.. read more
PandaPeaceful

9 Months Ago

It's quite impossible to see the stars from the city. But, when I see them, I never stop. I'm quite .. read more

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Added on January 5, 2018
Last Updated on January 28, 2018

Author

alanwgraham
alanwgraham

Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom



About
Married with three grown up kids, I retired early from teaching physics but have always enjoyed a second life enjoying the outdoors, particularly the mountains. In my mid forties I experienced a manic.. more..

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