Time is told by memories, by the change of seasons, the growth of our children, shadows from the sun, phases of the moon, placement of the stars in the night sky. It is a different story for each of us, based on a different history, seen from a different view. Though once we look around, it’s all the same, your world, my world, the same stars we look at from so far away.
Last week I could lie in bed, look up and see an unnamed star in an unknown constellation, the names of which are meaningless, we make up our own, their stories told by someone else long ago, yet still we recognize them all, seasonal travelers, or solid constants above our big back yard, this star now low in the southeast, shining in his spectacular technicolor coat. We call him Crazy Star, dancing wildly to the west in the early night of spring, now in the mornings as I wake in darkness, peaking through the tops of the trees. I judge my timing on his placement, when and where he clears the trees, breaking into the open, and fading with the lightening sky. I asses how much more sleep I am allowed. I take a secret pleasure in being able to say, “Not yet…” and roll back over, snuggling against my warm husband for just a little longer.
This morning the moon was big, bright, overwhelming the fine and delicate pinpoint lights of the stars, and I could read by the long shadows coming from the west, by the silver glow touching the branches of the big blue spruce outside my window, where the moon was, how close time would be until I push back the warm covers into the cold chill of early morning in the cabin, walk down stairs in this semi-darkness, light the fire, and begin my day..
On days I wake with the worries of the world heavy on the pillow beside me, how simple it is to look up and remember the stars will shine with brilliance and clarity and a stability we will never know, despite my greatest fears. No, not despite me, or because of me, but regardless of me or my troubles, or even my hopes and desires.
The longer I lie there and look, the deeper and farther I see into that vast openness of twinkling space before me, just from the square of the window. There is comfort in my insignificance. My problems weighing grave on my mind become meaningless; put into perspective, they are nothing at all. For a moment, I fade off into the infinite horizon, then I wake and begin my day.