Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

I used to lay out at the end of the pier on clear, cloudless nights just gazing up at the stars. I could listen to the waves gently splash against the rocks on the shore.

I would look for the North Star and the Little and Big Dippers. I loved looking at stars. I used to watch it “move” from one side of the sky to the other as the seasons changed.

I used to walk the dog down our lane when the moon was full. I could see quite well.

In the early summer months, I could see fireflies doing their “mating call” with their built-in light bulbs. It was like having the night sky fall to the ground. We had stars in the sky and "stars" twinkling on the earth.

My cousin and I used to catch fireflies and put them in jars and pretend they were lanterns. The fireflies felt cool to the touch.

On overcast nights, the beautiful, twinkling lights of the stars would be curtained by the clouds. I would have to wait until the sky was clear, so that the stars would come out to "play" again.

I don’t know exactly when it happened. I didn’t go outside to watch stars anymore. I worked. I went to bed early. I had a child. I stayed inside at night. Then, I moved into the city. I had another child. I didn’t take the time to go star-gazing anymore. Oh, I wish I did!

The fireflies still come out in the early summer months. My kids do the catching now and pretend to have “stars” in a jar. The kids would say that the fireflies are all over the yard. I can only see maybe one or two fireflies at a time. I guess I should be happy about that. It's better than nothing. I am night-blind. I can see a little bit as long as there is a light shining nearby. Either that, or it takes about a minute to adjust to the darkness so I can scan the yard for the dancing, twinkling lights of the fireflies. It'll just have to do.

I used to think that it must have been cloudy outside because I couldn’t see the stars. One day, about two or three years ago, I complained that it always seemed to be cloudy when I wanted to look for the stars. But I was told that it was clear and stars are twinkling all over. I would squint and look very hard up at the sky. It hit me then that I couldn’t see stars anymore.

I can still look at pictures of stars, but it’s just not the same thing.

If I were to wish on a star, what do you think it would be?


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