I have found a great way to save for myself my best moments, something I never imagined, I must say. You want to find a way to mark an occasion, an engagement, a birth, whatever special event needs marking in a way that will give pleasure down the years, but the usual channels can seem somewhat….expected. The parents probably already bought a newspaper the day that their baby was born, and whilst photos and videos are essential reminders of special days, they are also pretty much par for the course. Far too often gifts can seem bland and generic, driven by a one size fits all impulse which, whilst it may make commercial sense, often lacks the personal touch. One utterly unique gift, however would be a map of how the night sky looked at the precise moment and location of the event in question, a constellation map is a highly individual way to remember or mark a specific time and place.
Earth’s orbit round the sun means that the sky is subtly different depending upon the time of day, time of year, or where you are on the planet’s surface. The position of the sun, moon and stars is unique to a specific time and space, so what better way to remember the moment than capture the sky as it was at that precise time. You can truly say that this is how the stars were aligned! So what better way to mark how special an occasion was astronomical proof.
Without wishing to get too deep about it, it’s all too easy to forget how unique a set of circumstances had to be for a life event to occur. Say you met the love of your life at university. You had a choice of places to go, they had a choice of places to go. You may have signed up for a different class, they might have tried out for a different sports team. You could have ended up on different campuses. Our lives are governed by a million different variables, each and every day. Frankly, it’s a miracle that anything ever happens at all. That bus you didn’t catch, that gig you didn’t go to, that time you cried off the double date because there was a programme on the telly you wanted to watch…with all this uncertainty and probability, there’s a reassuring fixity about the stars. In amongst all the chaos, they maintain their place in the heavens.
An accurate map of the night sky at the precise point you proposed, or when your son rang to say you were going to be a grandparent, or when the letter came through saying your novel was going to be published, is a way of fixing the occasion precisely in time and space (as well as helping to settle any future arguments about what happened when – the stars don’t lie). As it can be customisable from both time and location, it offers a certain celestial permanence to the hectic, earth-bound, workaday affairs of people. But you can ensure that humanity still gets a look in by personalising it with a message or caption. With further options to have names of the constellations, it could be as informative as it is special to you, or you could go down the more mysterious route and simply leave it blank, allowing you to soak up the silent majesty of the night sky which was, for one amazing moment of your life, uniquely yours.