Starry Starry Night
A friend of mine is a teacher, and she told me a funny story this morning. She took a group of 50 sixth graders to a camp up on the north shore of Lake Superior. They went to an evening teaching program, and she was walking the kids back to the building where they were staying. The night was pitch black and though they could see the light from the dorm as they walked toward it, it was too dark to see the ground or even the people right around you.
Now, some of these kids were inner-city tough-guys, and at one point, my friend heard the thud of a punch and somebody cried out. Some kid had punched another kid, knowing that he couldn't be seen. A commotion was starting around her, and my friend knew she had to do something, even though she couldn't see a thing. She reached out and grabbed some kid near her, then called out, "Look up!"
At the sight of the myriad stars and the Milky Way above them, the kids fell silent, except that one of them said one word - "Damn!"
This story reminds me of this, by Claudius Ptolemaeus:
I know that I am mortal and the creature of a day;
but when I search out the massed wheeling circles of the stars,
my feet no longer touch the earth, but, side by side with Zeus himself,
I take my fill of ambrosia, the food of the gods.
If you want to taste of the ambrosia, start at space.com: