When I was little, we lived in rural Virginia. The nights were dark miles out of town, but the sky was thick and bright with stars. My dad take us out into the warm summer air to name the constellations and point out the best-known stars, and we would slap mosquitos and stare mesmerized at the millions of vivid points suspended just out of reach.
I don't have a stellar memory, but I can usually find Orion's belt and the Big Dipper and the Pleiades when the nights are dark enough. Tonight I had to drive a bit out of town to visit a friend who'd just had a baby, a little girl with hair as thick and black as night. The night was crisp and frosty. The sky was clear and the stars glittered high and cold. Coming home, I lingered at a stop sign to look up and saw a bright object shoot horizontally across the sky and vanish in a twinkle. Again I lingered before entering the house to find Orion and his belt. The windows of the house were warm and golden, but above, the slate roof glowed silver in the light of the waxing moon.