Monday, April 19, 2010

Star light, star bright...

Yesterday I went hiking in the Comanche Wilderness with a good friend. The trail followed the Big Thompson River and ended up dumping us out onto a dirt road with log cabin summer homes on either side for a good mile or two, Glen Haven was originally founded as a summer home community, which I find totally bizarre. We stopped at a bench to watch the water and enjoy some wine, and talk in a meandering river-like fashion that we always seem to come to.
Walking back found ourselves in the dusk of Colorado wilderness, the inky outline of pines plastered against a fading emerald sky, a crescent moon becoming brighter and even brighter still. I was reminded of being at my parent's home in Kansas, last August, before I left to study abroad in Ecuador. There was a meteor shower and my mom and I sat in lawn chairs, wrapped up in a blanket, craning our necks for signs of celestial life. I don't recall ever seeing so many vivid bursts of light gliding across the sky.
I have always thought how romantic a notion it is to meditate on the moon or stare at a single star, and think that someone far, far away is doing the same. That somehow this connects us and the miles between just vanish away. While I was in San Cristobal, I noted the night's display with the same ritual. It was a little startling at first, I felt like I was gazing up at a totally foreign sky, not one that I had studied all my life. I didn't know these stars, these constellations, or the myths behind them. The sky was cluttered with stars, it was a total mess. They were dim and faint or bright and twinkling, practically overlapping one another. I recall witnessing several shooting stars while there, and always at a moment when I needed something reassured in my head or heart. It was like a cartoon light bulb above my head, those "A-ha!" revelations.
I am still magnetized to the evening sky, and am often found staring straight up, never mind an aching neck, sometimes with mouth open, dumbfounded in beauty. And I still can't shake the romance, that as I stand alone in the dark, someone else is fixed on the same star, and in that moment, it's as if we are sitting side by side, wrapped up in a blanket.