I wish I could share the stars.
I grew up in the country and took the star filled nights for granted. Don’t get me wrong – as a kid I loved to look at the stars. We even had a telescope to get a better look at things. But they were absolutes, always there. And even if the clouds were covering them you knew they were still there.
Later in life I found myself living in the city – slowly, the stars were removed from my memory. Somehow only seeing the sky when it was polluted by the city lights erased them from my mind, slowly eroding the memory of such grand beauty.
I can’t say when it was that I first drove out into the country by myself without distractions and looked at the stars again, and marveled. It’s not that I hadn’t gone and looked up at the stars before, but usually it involved a girl or some other distraction that took the focus away from the beauty. I wasn’t there for the stars, that was a by product. But some time ago I had driven out in to the country specifically to find a spot, a clearing along the road with no houses or lights.
And I truly marveled at what I saw.
Now when the world gets too much, or the city is making me feel cramped up, or maybe I’m just bored I drive out to a small secluded spot alongside a dirt road and raise my eyes to the sky. I don’t take them for granted anymore – I can’t just step outside and look. I have to go to see the universe, even though we’re a part of it.
There has not been a day out there by myself I wasn’t amazed.
There have been days where I’ve stood out there in the cold, the windchill below zero, and the air devoid of all moisture – but the stars were so crisp and bright I could swear I might be glimpsing the edge of the universe God gave us.
There have been days where the storms were rolling in, and I stood there watching the contrast of the clouds rolling in against the starlit sky. The clouds filled with bright flashes of light against the starlit canvas of the sky, and I marveled at the beauty of it.
There have been days where the Kansas sky had thin layers of clouds slowly moving across the sky, lazily obscuring my view. I watched, and waited for glimpses, rewarded by the grand painting those clouds hid until they parted.
There have been days where I’ve arrived with sadness in my heart, and step out into the hot muggy Kansas air feeling miserable and suffocated until I looked up and saw the billions of points of light in the sky. Suddenly the heat and mosquitoes no longer mattered, only the stolen moment I have looking at the stars mattered. The weight of life lifted from my shoulders.
And there were the days where – for too brief of an instant – a rock crossed the sky from some distant place. An ordinary piece of iron, or nickel, or even just a piece of ice became magical, an animated piece of that grand painting that can never be repeated. As a child I would wish upon shooting stars. As an adult, I still do it, but with greater weight and meaning. And the world may never believe me, but ever wish I’ve made on those stars since I’ve made it a habit to visit has come true, no matter how improbable.
I wish I could share the stars. Everyone has access to them, but not everyone truly sees them. If they did, how could the world be filled with angry people? What does it matter when someone cuts you off in traffic if you could just stop and look up at the stars and see it was completely insignificant. What would your heartache and pain from loss matter when you compare it to that grand painting?
And if I could share those wishes that streak across the sky, why would anyone envy the position or possessions of others with such a bounty available? One that has been given to us for free since before the dawn of mankind, since before we squabbled about our differences, since before we filled the world with cities that pollute the sky.
I wish I could share the stars – not a photo, but the true grandeur and awe of the stars, the feeling that tunnels straight through our minds and into our heart and soul.
———- Writing Notes ———-
I write this bit after talking with some friends about writing and poetry – I was already in a writing mood, and I looked back at some of my old “crappy poetry” (I don’t think my work is particularly good, but I’m self critical of course) and it ground me to a stop. I couldn’t write anymore. So I took a drive out into the country – something I do about once a week – and looked at the stars, and this started pouring into my brain. Of course, The Muse couldn’t leave such an opportunity to force me to write alone.
This is one of two pieces on a similar backdrop but different topics. I figure I might start dropping more of this stuff on my site under a new area – a sort of “catch all” for my junk writing, rather than either books or standard blogging type stuff. Quite often stuff like this never gets finished – it gets thrown away while it’s still in my head. Or I might get as far as writing it down and delete it. But, in the conversation that was going on, a friend – Don Rhoden, who I’ve only seen when helping people move it seems – said this “Davis, don’t ever hide your light under a bushel. Save your words, thoughts, and insights. Let us learn from them. And criticize them :-)” Hm. Well, why the heck not – it only takes me moments to create a new section of MidnightRyder.org to throw this sort of writing into (plus, I’ll bring my stuff from DeviantArt over here – I never use that account anymore.)
So, enjoy, make fun of it, or love it – but do consider taking a drive out into the country by yourself on a cloudless night and look at the stars for a while.