The Cosmic Visitor
AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT
HE struck a weary silhouette against the wall of his portable office as he leaned his tired body against it’s warm metal surface. In the humid pre-dawn, he absentmindedly kicked a stone away from beneath his aching feet, trying to get them into a more comfortable position. He dare not sit or lie down for he knew he would lapse into a deep sleep and he still had a job to complete.
He peered with half-focused eyes toward the bleak horizon. It was very early in the morning and there was a stench of sulphur in the air. The moon had long risen and did it’s tour of duty across the sky before disappearing back to it’s resting place down behind the western horizon around 2 a.m.Undulating hills were beginning to appear in the distance, some coal black, some a dirty cold grey. It wasn’t a pleasant sight, but he didn’t care, his mind was far away, thinking of his wife and kids, safely tucked away in their beds, oblivious of the coming day. His thoughts were of arriving home in a few more hours, greeting his wife good morning and hopefully, be in time to kiss his children tenderly before they headed off for another day at school.
He rubbed the stubble on his chin and wondered if he would have the strength to shave as he showered before curling up in his nice soft bed – the air conditioner whirring in the background, more to muffle the noise and bustle of daily life, as normal people did their normal things in normal daylight hours – rather than to keep him cool.
As if they were afraid to congregate while the moon was on duty, the clouds had gathered overhead pushing out the stars as if they were more important. They reminded him of the union meetings that were held here regularly and wondered idly if the clouds would be voting to go on strike – The sun’s too hot, the wind’s too strong – they would think up some reason.
The job as a shift supervisor in charge of night shift in a coal mine really sucked. No matter how long he did it, he just could not come to terms with it. It upset his whole metabolism. Luckily he only had ‘dog shift’every fourth week but it was still something he dreaded. Adding to his melancholia was the horrid thought that in four more weeks he’d have to suffer it all over again.
He had done a tour of the mine site making sure all was in order, then returned to the field office, completed the shift report and organized the time sheets for the men who would begin to straggle into the office in an hour or so. Then he could finish his work and go home; thank God.
The sky was slowly brightening as the sun prepared to do it’s daily chore of supplying light and warmth for it’s earthly children. As if in abeyance of the sun’s wishes that it’s work be on display, the clouds had parted company displaying a great blue gash directly overhead. The stars in accord with the clouds had disappeared to make way for the sun’s light.
He gazed drearily up at the dark blue hole in the sky thinking random thoughts to keep his mind working when all of a sudden he stood bolt upright, thoughts of tiredness had magically evaporated and he was acutely awake.
From the right hand side cloud bank, a bright golden disk had appeared, streaking across the gap in a flash of color and disappearing behind the left hand bank of clouds. It only took a second or two but it was long enough for him to get a good look at it and to fully realize that he was not dreaming. It was certainly for real. But what was it?
He pondered about it’s possible origins. It wasn’t the moon for he had watched it set some three hours earlier and it wasn’t a plane. There was no airport nearby and the planes that did fly over this area, flew at the normal cruising height of around 30,000 feet making them much too small to account for what he had just seen.
Plus, he had noticed the fact that it seemed to be flying just above the cloud cover as if it expected to zip across the opening unobserved. Did whoever or whatever misjudge their clandestine journey across the heavens, unaware that a lone, tired figure had witnessed their passing?
I have never forgotten that strange moment that occurred in the late 1980’s, before I left the mining game and moved back to civilization on the Queensland Sunshine Coast. It is still imprinted in my mind as clearly as the morning it happened. To this day, the origin of this strange golden disk still intrigues me.
Dan’s Quote:- “Aspire to inspire before you expire.”