Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Little Star-Dust Caught

Many men walk by day; few walk by night.
It is a very different season ... .
--Henry David Thoreau

I was once again uncharacteristically awake in the wee hours of Sunday.
And seized with an enthusiasm more befitting Christmas morning,
my first thought was to creep downstairs 
and look through the dining room window 
to see if Venus sparkled in the eastern sky.
And she did. And so did Jupiter.
I woke my husband up and invited him to come downstairs 
and look at the stars with me.
Since he loves the early morning, he didn't hesitate to join me.
So there we sat on our front step in the darkness 
with our coffee and a warm blanket, 
and we watched the sky while the world slept on.

A few clouds traveled across, at times rendering both planets
little more than pale sparks of light. 
And from our vantage point on the front step, 
Orion and his glittering belt were obscured by our neighbor's trees.
Irrespective of that, seeing the bright stars of Venus and Jupiter were enough for us.
And we watched them until an almost imperceptible dawn began to break.

Since it was still dark, we decided to wait for the birds to sing.
And after the birds began to sing, the rising sun turned the sky a rosy gold,
so we stayed and watched as daylight arrived and erased the light of the stars.
At 6:00 we walked to the river and watched fish feeding 
as they broke the water's surface into ever-widening circles.
It was a gentle start to what turned out to be a dark and rainy day.
Most of our mornings are not like this, 
but this one had a little touch of  magic
and reminded me of something Thoreau once said:

The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible
and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening.
It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow I have clutched.

Not at all a bad way to begin another day 
when the stars align.

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