Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Few Meteors, But Not a Waste of Time

I rested my neck on the back of the deck chair, the hand made quilt stuffed around me in the pre-dawn chill while I stared at the canopy of stars. Occasionally a meteor shower will reward me with dozens of shooting stars in any half hour of watching. Last night I saw about five per hour. They were nice, but they weren't the best part of the experience.

Sitting there, absorbing the quiet of the foothills, one of the things that came to mind was the times I tried for same experience from our yard in the California suburbs. The return into the house was a mixed bag. There was frustration at all the lights everywhere. It's hard to see the night sky when the neighborhood never gets truly dark. Dogs were constantly barking, and cars came by, no matter what time of night it was. Southern California doesn't really know how to sleep very well. What you could see of the sky was beautiful, but it was limited. How I felt was good, but reflected those limits.

It's not in me to think that I can say something best. As I sat for so long alone during the wee hours, it wasn't my own words that came to me, but snippets of quotes, phrases from literature, and then just a profound sense of well being. "Music of the spheres." Ah, yes. You can hear it in your spirit. It's swells from above the sound of the wind whispering in the pines, the crickets that go silent just before the sun starts to rise. "You'd soar a sprite above your heavenly throne/Had you no shame to leave your starry home." Oh, boy. Haven't thought of the Rubaiyat in awhile. 

"Be still and know..." I got some good direction to questions I've been asking last night, and conviction that I can do what needs to be done in my life.

Pondering the night sky, for some reason, always leaves me remembering one of my very favorite quotes. Robert Browning, back in the early 1800s, said, "A man's reach should exceed his grasp - or what's a heaven for?" Thank you, Mr. Browning. You said it so much better than I could.

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