I remember the Christmas when I got my first telescope. I must have been 10 or so. It was a Sears refractor, with a moon filter and a sun filter (no wonder my perception is so rosy-colored) and a barlow lens. We opened presents on Christmas Eve. My father set up that telescope in our back yard that night, pointed at the moon. In my life since, I have never lived so close to outer space as the first time I saw that moon through that cheap telescope. In later years, I got a JC Penney plastic 200x reflector, which was even easier to use, and through which I viewed the M42 nebula in Orion, the Pleaides, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and all the visible mares of the moon. I loved that feeling on a chilly late fall night of standing in our large side yard, scope pointed upward, catching fleeting glimpses of the visual prey, until I again bumped the scope out of position.
When I was 25, I flew cheap Wal Mart kites at a junior high a few miles from my house. As this locale was naturally extremely kite friendly, the kite rose as if by magic. At that time, I felt weighted by a world of work, lost and so alone. But my kites always flew.
Today I mailed three packages off to people to whom I have owed packages for weeks. As I drove away from the post office, I felt that a little grist of guilt had been plucked from me. I had not even known I felt very guilty, until the
little pearl was lifted, all too well polished.
I'd like to work on a little less grist and pull out a few more toys over the next few weeks.
What childhood toys would you like to play with once again?