A Fond Childhood Memory That Brings Out the Atheist in Me

I want to share with you one of my favorite memories of back home. 

I grew up in a very rural area – Henry County, Ohio. It’s a rich agricultural region that was once part of the Great Black Swamp. 

My best friend lived a few miles away. Our grandpas were both farmers and our families had lived there for generations. 

One of the coolest things about living in the country (in my opinion) is the night sky. It gets so dark. On a clear night, the stars can be overwhelming and you just feel so small. 

My best friend had a big trampoline in her backyard and we would lay on it at night and look up at the sky. You wouldn’t believe how much is going on up there – there’s a lot of shit in the sky!

Sometimes I thought it was scary. I was certain that we were going to be abducted by aliens but thankfully that never happened. It made me feel like there’s just so much that goes on that is beyond my understanding. The sky is so vast and beautiful but there’s so much I don’t know. 

When we looked off to the Northeast, there was a faint orange haze in the distance. That was the lights of Toledo. I had no idea that one day that would be my home.

Today I prefer living in the city but I definitely miss the dark nights of the country.

You always hear people talking about awe-inspiring experiences bringing them closer to god but for me, thinking about the big night sky and stars back home brings out the atheist. It reminds me that we are so insignificant – barely a blink in space and time. We must make the most of the experiences that we have.

I was not an atheist back then but this is how the memory affects me now.

Have you had any awe-inspiring experiences that bring out the atheist in you?


  1. Katydid says

    That sounds like a wonderful memory! In the book A Wrinkle in Time, the entire Murray family used to go sit out on a rock and watch the skies at night. 🙂

  2. grahamjones says

    “We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.”
    From Huckleberry Finn

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