Of Asteroids and Birds


Being sick offers an opportunity of sorts, for having no energy to move gives one a chance to think. So, felled by a particularly unpleasant bug and subject to medicine that at times is as bad as the sickness, I am taking time to ponder asteroids.

No wonder there… the world is still reeling from the shock of  a refrigerator-sized asteroid flaming across the skies of Chelyabinsk, Russia and releasing several kilotons of energy in the process of exploding. Nor has there been a lack of celestial fireworks lately. Because of or contrary to the Axtec’s much noted calendar, meteor unceremoniously called 2012DA14 very nearly missed the earth last year.

It’s not that I think very often of meteors or of the shooting stars on which we made a wish when we were children. They were pretty streaks of light in a dark sky studded with stars. They were simply bits and pieces of space. But the latest invasion from space—and the invading bug— has made me curious about 2012 DA14, and  I have learned that this meteor had been moving at a sharp 17,450 miles per hour and that this speed packed it full of energy. Apparently it’s velocity that changes a falling rock into a weapon of destruction. Even more perilous, a few centimeters of speed less or more in 2012DA14’s  approach could have shifted its trajectory and sent it smashing into earth. A small collision from another asteroid would have accomplished this, and the light of the sun could have given the impetus to do much the same thing.

Now so interested as to stop feeling sorry for myself, I continue to learn that solar energy turns to heat energy when it connects with an asteroid. And chiaroscuro helps, too, for a darker meteor feels the solar effect less than a light meteor! Add a solar flare, and the scenario shifts again.

Is nothing to be trusted? I wonder. The gentle, peaceful sky full of glistening stars, the silver moon—but, of course, the poor moon has endured several assaults by these objects from space. In fact, scientists feel it’s possible that the moon itself was formed when earth was clipped by a massive asteroid…

Tired of asteroids and disaster scenarios, I get up to take the vile medicine and in doing so totter by the window. Outside, I see a multitude of birds taking refuge from the cold at the bird feeders. And not just at the feeders but on the ground where they are joined by squirrels and a strange looking furry ball of fur which I cannot identify. Of course birds need to eat their own weight each day to stay warm, so I am heartened. My friend the chickadee and his mates will be survivors this winter.

And beyond the birds I see a flash of gold. There, in spite of the cold and in spite of dangerous detritus from space, a daffodil has burst into bloom. Never mind, it seems to say, stop fussing about things you can’t control and stop feeling miserable. The sun is shining and spring will surely come.

There is a lot of wisdom in that. Tomorrow, I am going to try to take a walk.

As golden as sun

Is the wisdom of the earth

And of its creatures.


Moonrise On a Dark Planet  30x30

Moonrise On a Dark Planet 30×30
























About Maureen C. Wartski

I’m Maureen Wartski, writer, artist, wife, mother, grandmother; you can see that I have many of the bases covered. I was born in Ashiya, Japan, a (then) small town which lay cradled between sea and mountains. In the evenings, we would walk along the road that ran past Osaka Bay, and a great moon would rise out of the water to turn the world to silver. I’m told that my first words were, “Big moon!” All my life I have felt the tug to write something, draw something, put together something with fabric, string and color, and the urge to create has grown through the years. I suppose, then, that it’s a natural thing that this blog be full of the things that so many of you enjoy doing…drawing, making something with fabric, and writing. Yuri's Brush with Magic, my newest book for middle schoolers follows the adventures of a brother and sister, the magic of words, and the incredible magic of the natural world. I'd love to hear from you! You can send me a note at: maureen@wartski.org/ My blog is here: https://maureenwartski.wordpress.com/ Or friend me on Facebook!

13 responses »

  1. Lovely as always Maureen! Made me think of a good YA book I read, “Life as We Knew it” about an asteroid hitting the moon and knocking it out of orbit. Scary! We should always treasure those moments of joy and inspiration that lighten our minds; thanks for the reminder!

  2. Sorry to hear of your illness but at least you got to enjoy your birthday trip, but maybe that’s where you caught it. don’t give it to Mike, you need him to care for you!
    It has given you time to reflect on things in between feeling bad and taking your meds.
    Sorry I haven’t been around to bring you some nourishing soup. Tell you later what I’ve been doing.

  3. HI Maureen,    Love this post.. how profound, how true. Love, Sue

    >________________________________ > From: Maureen Wartski >To: susanghosh@yahoo.com >Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2013 10:45 AM >Subject: [New post] Of Asteroids and Birds > > > WordPress.com >Maureen C. Wartski posted: “Being sick offers an opportunity of sorts, for having no energy to move gives one a chance to think. So, felled by a particularly unpleasant bug and subject to medicine that at times is as bad as the sickness, I am taking time to ponder asteroids. No w” >

  4. Dear Maureen, I am always amazed by how you muster your creative energies despite or maybe even because you are laid low by a virus. Sorry that it is hanging on without letting go. This has been a year of stubborn and long lived bacteria and viruses in our household also. We shall have to kick them out of our lives by the time we see you in March. Love always, Fran

  5. Maureen,
    The mysteries of our universe inspire you once again. I love that you share this journey with us, even on days you’re not up to a walk outdoors. Get well soon. Even more daffodils are waiting to share their beauty with you.

  6. Dear Maureen,
    Hark! I am sad to hear you are under the weather. I hope you’ll be walking more and more each day. I pray that God heal you inside and out!

    I have walked 15 minutes 47 times since January 4, 2013. Thanks for encouraging me with my walking.

    You are a good friend. You encourage me in many ways. Thanks.

    Enjoy being you.
    Celebrate your life.
    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s