Monday, unable to sleep, I was lying in bed looking out the window at the night sky. There were no stars to be seen, save one. A very large, unblinking bright ball was high above the volcano Poás. Obviously it was not a star; it had to be the planet Venus. And the following morning, I read that the next transit of Venus will be occurring this year in June.
Except for the book, “Transit of Venus,” by Australian writer Shirley Hazzard, I had no idea what that meant. It seems that Venus will be crossing between the sun and the earth, and it will be visible in Costa Rica, as well as the U.S. and Europe. There is also an asteroid or other heavenly body with the name Venus attached to it that will be zooming through the skies. And there is the book, “Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars.” I agree with that. One simplification: women tend to use their seductive powers to persuade and men tend to use their strength and threat of force to persuade. Put another way, women talk too much, men fight too much.
Venus and Mars personify these differences.
Tuesday night I began looking for my new friend, Venus. She was nowhere to be seen until again around 9:30 when she appeared light years away in the middle of my window. I was unable to detect any movement, but it was not long before the planet was at the top of my window, just barely in view. This time there seemed to be a circle of darker sky surrounding the bright orb.
I have learned that there is a morning Venus and an evening Venus, the same planet, seen at different times. I have never been a stargazer but now I can see how people who are, can spend hours looking through their telescopes at all of the activity out there. I am sure they know why stars and planets glow in the dark and can tell me if the earth does, too.
Obviously, humans have been looking at the skies for thousands of years and have been inspired to create many myths, especially about the Planet Venus, including that the earth was first settled by an inhabitant of Venus who chose a site in South America at the edge of Peru. I cannot help but continue to think that history is written by the victors and myth by the vanquished. Or put another way, people of the past write myths, today we have historians. In short, it is just what you choose to believe. In my recent research on the ancient, past I learned that the Old Testament of the Bible has many similarities to the earlier Sumerian religious writings.
But my friend Señor Ardilla (Mr. Squirrel) keeps bringing me back to the present by running along my fifth floor window sill looking at me quizzically and then running the length of it. At first I thought he was casing my joint, looking for an entry and something he may have missed during his last visit. Now I think it may be Mrs. Squirrel, after all. The last time he went by, he had a mouthful of straw. She is building a nest somewhere! I have no idea which sex builds the nest, and realize how little I know, not just about the occupants of the universe, but about the fauna and flora other than human on this planet.
But I do recommend that you look for Venus.
It seems amazing that not a star is visible over the city lights but she is making her presence known.
If I am wrong and that is not Venus in the sky, then someone up there is watching us.