I hadn’t planned to leaved the lab so late and I was worried that the light jacket I had brought wouldn’t be warm enough outside. I stepped through the heavy building doors to walk home.
It was surprisingly pleasant outside though, and walking at a brisk pace felt good after sitting still so long. I had spent most of my day motionless in a cold room, looking at tiny things through microscopes. My neck hurt from being bent over and I was tired, thinking about how I would have to repeat the whole experiment again and it would likely take just as long to finish tomorrow. I rolled my shoulders and stretched my head back feeling the tenseness in my spine dissipate a little as I did so.
The movement brought my gaze up from the pavement–up above the orange glow of the street lamps and up to the cloudless night sky. It seemed like the sky was blacker than it should be with all the light pollution from the city, and the crisp air was bringing several stars into sharp focus. Small dots were rapidly changing colors and burning with a light that was all at once more intensely bright-hot and cold-hued than the artificial lamps around me. It stuck me how these pinpoints of light were, in reality, orders of magnitude larger than anything I had thought about or looked at today.
A light breeze picked up and I shivered for the first time, my gaze returning to the sidewalk.
I still had a ways to go.