“I had traveled from Spain into Morocco and from there south to the Atlas Mountains, at the edge of the Sahara Desert…one night, in a youth hostel that was more like a stable, I woke and walked out into a snowstorm. But it wasn’t the snow I was used to in Minnesota, or anywhere else I had been. Standing bare chest to cool night, wearing flip-flops and shorts, I let a storm of stars swirl around me. I remember no light pollution, heck, I remember no lights. But I remember the light around me-the sense of being lit by starlight- and that I could see the ground to which the stars seemed to be floating down. I saw the sky that night in three dimensions- the sky had depth, some stars seemingly close and some much farther away, the Milky Way so well defined it had what astronomers call “structure”, that sense of its twisting depths. I remember stars from one horizon to another, making a night sky so plush it still seems like a dream.
It was a time in my life when I was every day experiencing something new. I felt open to everything, as though I was made of clay, and the world was imprinting on me its breathtaking beauty (and terrible reality.) Standing nearly naked under that Moroccan sky, skin against the air, the dark, the stars, the night pressed its impression, and my lifelong connection was sealed.”