Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friends in the Starlight
As you can tell by the new background, I love the night sky with its hidden images and eternal, unfathomable depths. Stars that died into to darkness millions of years ago are still visible to us because the light continued to travel after they expired, just as the lights of the ones we have loved continues after they have gone from us. We are very blessed to have a patio that faces the east and, after dusk fades into twilight and on into true night, I oftentimes slip out of the house and sit, bathed in starlight, my eyes upon the lights of heaven. The night musicians sing to me out of the darkness and my cat, Samson, comes to share the quiet; even he is silent. We are at one with the peace of the earth as we travel with our backs to the sun. Last Thursday some friends came by and joined us in viewing the Dance of the Meteors. We usually go up the hill and spread our blankets at the east end of the old cemetery that sits on our farm; from there we can see the sky entire in all its glory! This year we held the viewing in our east yard because it was Brendan's first year to be old enough to stay up and watch with us; he is three and a half and did very well for someone who was up three hours past his bedtime (I believe his favorite part of the experience was the flashlight). How often do we take the time to lie down on blankets with friends and, without agenda or design, breathe and laugh together? For me it is very rare (why is that?); I must aspire to make it happen for often in the future. Life is short, as we all know too well. We did see the lights burning through the atmosphere and rang our bells in celebration of each sighting. Last year we used party horns, which were very nice too, but this year I had failed to purchase any so we used small bells, of which I have a plethora because I love the sound of small brass bells. When I die I hope everyone brings bells to the grave side and rings me out of this world and into the next with a joyful noise and a song. Something that adds an extra layer of beauty to the evening is the knowing that there are many others, friends that we know and love and others we have yet to meet, joining us in this night of quiet contemplation; one starry sky, arching over the family of man, very like the love of God. The best part of the meteor show apparently wasn't until two a.m. by which time we were all in bed. However, the best part of our own personal get together was the fact that we had an unexpected and not entirely welcome visitor. We had all been hearing the rustling in the garden behind us and the thinking was that it was the cat, out hunting in the starlight. But my friend, and birthday buddy, Rachael was beside me and we were both petting the cat at that very moment so a light was called for; someone shined a flashlight in the general direction of the noise and spotlighted an armadillo (yes, the same one I have been trying to trap for weeks and weeks) shuffling up to the blanket, very near in fact. Dear Amanda, who loses no love on the wild things of the earth, sent him scuttling away as she bolted up from the blanket shrieking bloody murder (closely followed by the hysterical laughter of the rest of us; not at her so much as at the entire situation and the simple joy of laughing together in the darkness). Oh my! You surely know by this time that I do not care for our armored friends either but view them with extreme loathing and disgust more than fear. They tend to turn my thoughts to target practice, if you catch my drift. Once we had pulled ourselves together we all agreed it was time to go inside and have ice cream and 'marshmallow cake', Brendan's name for Angel food. Miss Maggie Jewel awoke and joined us for a bit before returning to her crib. Here is a picture we took at the end of the evening; sorry it is out of focus but, by that time of the night so were we. Mary, Rebecca, Suzanne, Rachael (my birthday bud), Amanda, Abbey and Maggie. I look forward to another fun night next August and maybe we'll be seeing some of these friends, and more, at a Fall campfire soon. I hope so.