A few nights ago, the dog insisted on going outside at 3 am. She’s not a puppy anymore, but sometimes she eats dinner late, or just has to go. And if she dawdles while she is out there, it’s usually for good reason.

So I took her out. And when I looked at the clear night sky, I felt like I was seeing shooting stars everywhere. At the time, I blamed it on my bleary night vision, because it’s October, but it turns out that it was in fact a spectacular showing of the Draconid meteor shower.

Last night the Draconids were supposed to be at their peak. I told the children I’d check whether it was worth going outside – it was cold and late – and I’d get them if I saw shooting stars. I brought out a blanket and kept an eye on the sky.

And there was a full moon. And cloud cover that moved across the sky. It was not a night for watching meteor showers. I’d seen them, just a couple nights before, when I didn’t know what I was seeing. Last night, I knew what I was looking for, and I couldn’t see them.

But I stayed out for a while, because I knew they were there. And even though I couldn’t see much besides the full moon, eventually the cold air and the full moon and the quiet took over. In the distance of indoors, I could hear my kids laughing over making slime. In the outdoors, curled under a heavy blanket on a cold Minnesota night, I could feel only full moon and meteor magic, whether I could see the the meteors or not.