Wednesday, April 25, 2007

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 our dog down the 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 night sky and "stars" twinkling on the earth.

picture from Wikipedia

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 got remarried and 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 or that they were night lights.

The kids would excitedly tell me that the fireflies are all over the yard. I can only see maybe one or two fireflies at a time. (They aren't as clustered as I remember-of course, it's probably just me.) I guess I should be happy that I can still see one or two here and there. 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?

I have posted this before. I was thinking about warm nights relaxing on the deck. Firefly season is almost here. Hopefully, I will get my "star-gazing" fix by watching the fireflies. Also, the other night, there was a full moon. I actually glimpsed one star right next to the moon!! I was so happy!! (Thank you, God.)


At Fri Apr 27, 04:50:00 AM , Blogger hillgrandmom said...

Bless you! I hope you get to see more stars and definitely the fireflies.

At Fri Apr 27, 09:40:00 AM , Blogger Jocelyn said...

I love the thoughtful nostalgia in this post. My son continually draws my attention to the stars and moon (when it's crescent-shaped, he think it looks like a rocking chair).

My wish would be a hokey one: that my children grow up in good health and find happy futures.

At Sat Apr 28, 06:14:00 AM , Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

This is so poignant.

Love the vision of you sitting on the dock, looking and listening.

I'm so sorry you can't see the stars anymore, but so glad you can relive it through your writing.


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