Full Circle with the Perseid Meteor Shower

At this time of year, the flowers start to go to seed. The plants that sprouted up from the earth in the spring have by now known their buds, have offered their blossoms, and have borne their fruit. All that remains is the promise of what’s to come, condensed into tiny seeds. And though we might describe this season as the end of summer, in a certain respect it holds within itself the mystery of the new year, already.

The same is true in the world of stars in this season, especially with regard to the Perseid Meteor Shower that comes to its peak overnight later this week.

Consider, a normal human gestation is nine months, from conception to birth. Nine months ago was mid-December, so that was the conception time. It just so happens that every year in mid-December, the constellation Perseus gets to its highest place in the night sky, called its “culmination.” And even though we experience the meteor shower that bears this hero’s name every year in mid-August, we can easily imagine that the whole process of what’s blazing into our midst with the falling stars now is like the seeds that remain after an entire cycle has completed.

So what’s been going on? What did we plant? What did we conceive of then that has come full circle now?

Of course, this week’s meteor shower is not caused by the constellation Perseus, but beautifully radiates from this region of sky, and in the storyteller’s world, that allows for imagining its connection with the Ancient Greek hero. And at this point, what harm in imagining that Perseus’ birth from a shower of golden stars is related to our receiving the seeds of heroic courage?

After all, the seed of the new is always present in the shell of the old.


On Interlochen Public Radio and via The Storyteller’s Night Sky podcast

I snapped the image above 8.7.21, when I stopped where I had rounded the corner into sunlight shimmering through seed fluff on M119 north of Harbor Springs, MI.