And Stars for ever dwell…

I can never quite sleep right while travelling. The first time I fell asleep that night was near my home. I woke up in another city, which was just more of the same. The next time made up for it though: it was an hour before sunrise, on one of those beautiful mountain roads. The first thing I noticed were the stars… They say familiarity breed contempt, so I guess the inverse must be true as well. I hardly ever get to see any stars, living in a big city where the sky’s always lit; so I love the stars even more when I do get to see them. I don’t recognize them, but they seem like old friends somehow. I always forget just how huge the night sky can be at times.
At times when I’m feeling optimistic or particularly defiant, this poem always comes to mind:
Though here at journey’s end I lie In darkness buried deep, Beyond all towers strong and high, Beyond all mountains steep, Above all shadows rides the Sun And Stars for ever dwell: I will not say the Day is done, Not bid the Stars farewell.
That’s from The Lord of the Rings, and it’s actually the second part of a larger poem. I like to ignore the first part though, the second stanza is so much better.
Another thing I love is looking at unfamiliar landscapes at night. Everything somehow seems more magical: it’s all shadows and silhouettes. Especially when travelling through hilly terrain; the mountains seem taller, the valleys steeper. All you get to see are vague hints of the terrain, but it’s enough. Beauty is often sinister.