Well, it has been a while since I have added anything to this site. I haven’t felt particularly moved to express anything until this morning.
As I write this, events are happening in the sky above my home - - and likely yours as well - - but you may not be witnessing them. In fact, if you are not retired, you probably are sleeping at this moment. But there are meteor showers predicted, and indeed some of my friends on social media have reported seeing them already, with the best viewing times yet to come.
I have been out already - - a couple of times - - the last time, spreading a beach towel on the ground in my back yard and lying back, gazing at the sky above. As I did so, several things came to mind, things that made me realize I didn’t need to see the actual meteor shower. I’ve seen them before. No, other messages came to mind that I think may have been the real reason I was led outdoors instead of to my bed to sleep. If you will permit me, I’ll share these with you here.
First of all, there was a haziness to the viewing at first. Initially, I interpreted it as cloudiness, as we have had some rain this weekend. But the longer I was outside, the clearer the sky seemed and the more defined the stars seemed in that sky. I was reminded of the passage in I Corinthians about seeing in a mirror dimly but then face to face. Now, our understanding is blurred; but eventually, it will all be clear. Or, in the more recent words of Dan Fogelberg, “one day, we’ll all understand.”
My first reverie was rudely interrupted by the sudden appearance of a bat, flying about a foot from my face. I had to scramble to ensure that it did not find its way inside my dwelling where my beautiful aging canine was sweetly sleeping. But a few minutes later, I was back outside.
I was then reminded that John used to wake me up to come outside and witness meteor showers. It used to irritate me a little, particularly if I had to work the next day, but he kept up with such events. I find myself doing it now, and tonight it made me feel a sense of his being near that I have not experienced in a while. It was a comfortable feeling, and one for which I am thankful. This is a lasting gift he has given me!
I was aware of the sounds of the country. Nights in rural areas are loud; not with sounds of sirens and horns so much, or even human voices, but insects doing the various things they do that make noise. Bats fly around. Breezes in the trees rustle the leaves. Most animals are sleeping, but one hears an occasional twig snap in the woods… It could be deafening for those not accustomed to it. As I lay there, I realized that this ground on which I was reclining, these trees that were inhibiting somewhat my view of the sky and this house looming above me to my side are, for this point in time, mine. This is my home. I do not know that I have ever felt this connected to this place, that it is so much a part of me, or I a part of it.
As I lay there on that silly, thin, little beach towel, relishing the firm, cool ground beneath my head and back, I gazed up at the myriad of stars above me, and realized that in other states, maybe even other countries, there were others similarly situated, looking up at these same heavenly bodies. In that moment, we were all connected! We ARE all connected! Knowing that certain of these people happen to be friends of mine made that fact so much more comforting because in that moment, I felt as if they were lying next to me on the ground, gazing skyward and experiencing the same sense of awe and wonder as was I.
And in that moment, with a million stars all around, the world felt just a little less lonely.