27 June 2013

Cosmic summer musings



I stood outside under the clear night sky last night, the air still cooling down from a 95 degree day. Everything was silent, calm, even here among so many homes and people.  It reminded me of my 12-year-old-self. I used to spend hours outside at night on a blanket, the country air warm around me.  The stars are brighter in the country, in the solitude of fields with no one else around--just the soul and the infinite expanses of sky. I memorized the summer sky long ago when I wanted to be an astronaut or astronomer, when I mulled over my understanding of life and truth, about the complexities of friends, school, and boys, when all I really wanted was to understand myself and my dreams. 

Last night the sky caught my off-guard. I saw the big dipper, the North Star dim against the constellation pointing it out. For a moment I lost track of myself, a part of me suspended between now and long ago, between woman and girl, questioner and curious. The sky in Déjà vu, the night like so many since passed, the stars the same. Time changes us, a forever moving entity, growing old, growing out of youth, never the same as the day before.  But the sky stays suspended in time, the same now as long ago, before my time, past my time, and stretching beyond conceivable time. The same forever. 

I am a different person than I was when I spent my nights outside--a woman learned in life (always learning), too busy for star gazing and universal pondering and questioning, too grown up to dwell on simple pleasures and wonders.  I worry about working everyday, getting dinner on the table on time, keeping my house clean.  I am so busy that time slips right past, unnoticed in the day-to-day grind.

And that's what frightens me. 

Time moved before I was ready, without my realizing it. Somehow I was 12-years-old, and now I'm 27.  When I think about it, 15 years doesn't feel as long as it should. The constant of the summer sky reminded me: I am moving through life (sometimes without realizing it), time, moving to some unknown forever-changing product, with implications I will never fully understand. 

The sky with its silent, watchful window sees the world grow and change, people live and die, planets form and fall. Infinitely still while we move beneath.


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