He loved this--lying on top of the camper, looking through his very old Nikon binoculars, . . . He could watch the lazy way he did when he first noticed stars, before he saw them up close through a Newtonian reflector, or read them by their radio waves, before he knew their chemical composition, the weight and age of their gases, the rate at which they were burning themselves up--back when they still held a blinks mystery.
He read the heavens like a worn page of a favorite book. He picked out constellations of the summer northern sky--Scorpius, Hercules with it's brilliant star Vega, the harder-to-find Corona Borealis. Arcturus, a showman star, burning it's heart out. And even though he knew better, knew that what he saw was still roiling and burning and exploding and being born, also dying an icy death, he could still calm himself by doing this sort of casual, Boy Scout survey, finding everything superficially in place.