Tonight I suddenly woke up at about 3 am with no visible reason. I got up and made a few circles around my room like a sleepwalker, lunatic or a person who’s talking on the phone. And in a certain moment my sight has focused on the window. To be more exact, on the moon, bright crescent moon.
The picture was mesmerizing. The air was so clear that I could see all the details on Moon’s surface, all the craters, Earth’s shadow… I was like hypnotized, I stood still for half an hour, listening to “Moon” score composed by Clint Mansell, looking at our amazingly beautiful satellite and thinking about several things. The thought that caught my mind was connected to the event whose anniversary we, the humanity, are going to celebrate this Monday. Even though the fact of presence-or-not of people on the surface of the closest astronomical object is causing hot debates even now, 40 years after, and I personally have doubts, the whole idea of touching the ground of the Moon was always fascinating me. How do you feel when you step down from the stairs and you get to the ground of a place we’re aliens for?
Actually, every space-related thing made me hold my breath since my childhood. When all the girls wanted to be balley-dancers or actresses, I wanted to be an astronomer. I even asked for a telescope for my sixth birthday. I received it and spent the following summers staring at the stars all night long. Fairytales didn’t interest me, instead of them I asked my grandmothers and grandfather to tell me about Yuri Gagarin or Gemini and Apollo programs. And once I’ve found a bag full of astronomy-related books in my granny’s house. I still have a pair of these books, and I remember nights spent on reading them under the blanket with a flashlight. And one of the biggest impressions of my childhood happened when I was 7 years old. We went to a…well, a tourist camp on the river Volga. The closest big city was a few hundreds of kilometers away, so the atmosphere wasn’t polluted by light. And one night my mother took me to a field. We were lying in the rye and looking at the stars, at the Milky Way, and my little mind was blown by that picture. It was breath-taking, and a bit scary, too, because I felt like a tiny part of something incredibly big, incapable for the human mind to imagine for the first time.
Many years have passed, but inside of me still sits a little girl dreaming of the aliens, far galactics and the universe instead of princes and flowers. And I’m happy, because I can spend hours standing with my head up and staring somewhere above, at a picture from the past – what we see, it’s just a reflection of the past events, and maybe the star I’m looking at right now doesn’t exist anymore… Who knows?
But writing this I’ve undestood that the thing I want the most is to go somewhere far away from the civilization. Living in the center of Moscow I forgot how the stars look like. We’re trapped in our concrete cage. I see the moon once a month. And the sky doesn’t get dark, it’s always brown here because of the light pollution. And it’s getting worse every year. I don’t want to be a part of the last generation who knows how the Milky Way looks like or how is it to see a falling star…
I just caught myself whistling the famous line from one of the most amazing songs ever: “Ground control to Major Tom, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong, can you hear me, Major Tom?” Yes. It’s a sign for me to go back to sleep. And that’s what I’ll do now.