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London stars

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

I wrote this a while ago when it was consecutively -4 degrees and snowing in London. When it snows in the day, you can't see anything else in the sky but grey clouds and snow falling. I think snow is pretty and exciting the first time it starts snowing. A few hours later, it's still snowing and all the white starts piling up and getting really cold, and I just can't wait for the whole damn thing to melt already (I do not like the cold). On days like that, when it finally stopped snowing and the sky cleared out in the day, it was lovely to see blue again. At night, I could finally see a few stars shining, and somehow it just made me feel so homesick out of nowhere.

Light pollution (i.e. light from streetlights, neon signs, building lights, etc.) in big cities makes stars practically invisible in the night sky. I can't remember what animal documentary it was, but light pollution is an issue for migratory animals, especially birds, who use stars in the night sky as direction signposts to get to where they needed to be for a warmer climate or for the breeding season. I thought this was really cool and similar to how ancient Pacific ancestors navigated the ocean reading the stars. With so much light everywhere, it confuses the migratory animals' sense of direction, then they get lost and lose their opportunity to survive in a warmer climate or to mate. Doesn't that sound incredibly sad?

Wherever I may be in the world, stars in the night sky are something I'm always up looking for. I never know the names of the stars when I look up, but it makes me feel a little better when I see one. I'm currently staying in where I call the "rural" side of London (lol), so occasionally, I can see a sparkle or two at night which gets me excited. Small things like stars in the night sky remind me of home, and I remember telling my partner about this, and he was like, "Maybe it's satellites you're seeing."😂😂

Anyway, do you remember that B.O.B song Airplane from 2010 (wow, 11 years ago) that has a part that goes:

"Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shootin' stars

I could really use a wish right now, wish right now, wish right now"

My wish right now is to be able to go home. As of today, it's been 530 days (i.e. 17 months) since I arrived in the UK to do my Master's degree under the Chevening scholarship. In that time, I've been able to study, graduate, and learn survival skills in the middle of this pandemic. London is an amazing city, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to come here. But I feel like I've been here too long, and I just wanna see real stars at home now.

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