Every once in a while, nature drops something in your lap so amazing and brilliant that it feels like a gift--a special present just for you from the universe. You can't even share it, because it's your own experience. The best you can do is tell others about it, describe it and the feelings it evoked as best you can, knowing that you'll always fail to convey the wonder of it all.
Still, I'll give it a try.
The Real Doctor's horse needs its hooves picked clean and rinsed to avoid abscesses, especially with the rain we've had recently. Since the Real Doctor is quite under the weather, I gallantly offered to take care of the beast, who is billeted about 10 miles out of town, where the night sky is dark enough to pick out the Andromeda galaxy with the naked eye. I usually take some time while I'm out there to look at the stars, but it was overcast, so I didn't bother. However, I did have a new cell phone which I needed to link with the car's bluetooth system. So, after finishing with the horse, I sat in the car and twiddled buttons with increasing frustration. After I exasperatedly went through yet another counterintuitive menu, I looked up...
...and saw what I thought for an instant was a low-flying jet with its landing lights on. As it moved across my view from the driver side window halfway across the front, I realized it was a spectacular bolide burning up in the atmosphere. It must have had some copper in it, since it blazed and left a trail of green. Halfway across my front window, it broke up into smaller fragments, traveling together in a cluster half the size of the moon. These burned brightly before winking out. The whole show took three or four amazing seconds. As I said, it was overcast, so this whole show was bright enough to shine through a layer of clouds, which gave it peculiar radiance.
I've seen three bolides like this in my life, and this was far and away the most spectacular. And I wonder--low to the horizon, on a cloudy night, at dinner time, in a sparsely populated area--how many people saw this wonder?