As the star traced a fiery arc across the sky, its passage was a blessing; a benediction; a celestial laying on of hands; an anointing of peace…
I suppose nothing speaks to my heart in quite the same language as that of the stars. Some of my earliest memories are of star-gazing. I remember travelling home from night-time church services. Sometimes, I would lie in the back rear dash of my family’s Chevrolet Malibu. The curve of the windshield seemed like slim protection from the thousands of blazing stars. I can still feel the sense that the heavens could come crashing down upon me at any moment.
In the first of C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet, the Green Lady questions Ransom about his home planet. Upon discovering that he lives on a world under open skies, she is amazed and enthralled. To be so close to the window of Heaven is a remarkable thing! She longs for that free communion, for that glimpse of the night sky. (To truly understand who the Green Lady is and why she has never seen the stars, I highly recommend that you read this series of Lewis’, if you have not already done so.)
Last night, I pulled out a deck chair and positioned myself for some serious star-gazing. In that chair I remained, until my nose was crisp and my toes tingly. Within 30 minutes, I had seen three falling stars, marvelled at the expanse and whiteness of the Milky Way and traced the path of four or five night-flying space vehicles. The thought that people work in the grand expanse of space gives me a feeling of claustrophobia. So much for all my big talk of stars, eh? They’re nice to see but not such a great place to live. I suppose I’ve read too many science fiction tales of space travel gone wrong to be truly comfortable with such a mode of travel or life. Thanks a lot, Ray Bradbury!
I leave today to visit more family in East Texas. I’ll be coming closer to your neck of the woods, Mr. Hollis and Mrs. Alice. If you’re in the area, let me know and we’ll get together to swap stories.
Later, from Texas. Be blessed.