I was four years old and I looked up at the bright array of stars. It was a perfectly clear evening, with a cool breeze coming off the ocean. I was down the shore in Wildwood, NJ, holding my parent hands. My father was on the left, my mother on the right. I thought to myself, "I will remember this moment for the rest of my life." Now, at 52, I find it odd that I would tell myself something so profound and often wonder why I did. More remarkable is the fact that I have kept my promise to myself and remember the moment with perfect vividness to this day!
This morning, while looking for an image to discuss in the blog, I came across a recent photo made in Flagstaff, AZ. To my delight, I remember feeling like a child when I made the photo. Looking up at the heavens will do that.
I pose the question: Do we adults look up enough anymore? Mostly, I notice us looking down at where we are walking rather than where our souls might soar. I remember when clouds looked like bunnies and spinning around made the stars a circular blur. I recall long summer days when silver airplanes would stir the imagination. Where were they coming from and where were they going?
August nights my father would set up lawn chairs so we could watch the meteor showers from our back yard. I'd squeal with delight when one would burn its way through the atmosphere, vanishing into vapor before our eyes. If I stared at a spot long enough I could see the stars move, proving that the entire universe was swirling around me.
No, we don't look up enough anymore. We drive our cars like hellions because we are forever late for something. We choreograph our lives and our kids lives so that there is no clear sky in our day. And we stare of computer screens and read (or write) blogs, looking for answers that can only be found by…looking up.