This afternoon, Comet C/2013 A1, better know by its thoroughbred sounding name, Siding Spring, raced past our neighbor, the red planet Mars, at 35 miles per second, hurtling towards the sun.
Traveling from a place called the Oort Cloud, which is a swarm of icy objects believed to be debris left over from the birth of our solar system 4.5 billion years ago, this space traveler will eventually turn away from the brightest star in the sky and it’s gravitational pull, returning to whence it came, a million of years ago.
This time of year in Maine the woods are spectacular. Lemon yellow birch leaves explode alongside the amber leaves of beech trees like fireworks on the 4th of July. The earthly scent of decaying wet sugar maple leaves and needles from the towering white pine decomposing under each step reminded me that winter is not too far off, but the warmish humid air rustling through the stubborn oak leaves, hushed my concerns. Like Frederick the Mouse from one of my favorite childhood books, I told myself, I can stack wood another day.