Starry Nights at The Ranch - Rancho La Puerta
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Starry Nights at The Ranch

Pictured above: A glimpse of the comet Neowise

Recently you may have read about the three-mile wide block of ice known as comet Neowise, which will not be visible again for another 6,800 years. We had the chance to catch a rare glimpse of it in the heavens surrounding Mt. Kuchumaa. You can see the tiny bright spot with a fuzzy light trail just to the top right of the sculpture.

We often talk about the breaking of dawn and early morning hikes at The Ranch. We seldom speak about the awe-inspiring, pristine darkness of the sky here. Maybe it is because we are deep asleep, restoring our minds and bodies before the next day is afoot.

For now, we’d like to draw your attention to the night sky above you. Wherever you may be, the sky is ready for your gaze. That’s one of the most reassuringly simple and beautiful aspects of it.  It takes nothing other than the tilt of your head to take in its ever-presence. Try it.

At first, it may seem hard to focus. There are so many tiny shapes to take in at once; it can seem distracting and even overwhelming. As your eyes settle down on the vastness above, you may feel small—even irrelevant in comparison—however, the more you continue to gaze, a sense of connection to yourself and the greater world may wash over you. You may find yourself asking questions like, “who am I?” “where is my place in this immensity”, “are we alone?” etc.

Experts say that looking at the night sky can be calming.  Many of you will instantly attest to this, especially if you’ve been camping, taking a road trip or, even just looked out from your window or back yard. There is something calming and connecting about sitting around a fire with friends and family or sharing a glass of wine in your backyard looking up and being thankful to witness a breathtaking kaleidoscope of twinkling shapes.  What perhaps is most comforting, more so during these shelter-in times, is that even though the sky can be dark and vast, the light is never extinguished.

No matter the hard times, no matter the endless dark hours, there is always light above.  So what will your sky look like this nightfall? Whether it is cloudy or clear, the stars will be there serving as a steady beacon of hope, stability, and inspiration for another day.

We wish you beautiful nights of stargazing.

Photos courtesy of Osvaldo Nieto

After a night of stargazing, it’s important to rest. Ranch Nutritionist Linda Illingworth shares valuable sleep tips in her post 10 Steps for a Lifetime of Restorative Sleep.