When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I saw no sea turtles, none that have hatched, anyway. But hatch they shall, on this marvelous island at the edge of the gentle ocean. We sat for hours last night by the tideline, waiting in the blackness of the night…all we saw were stars…
(and some obnoxious kids who were shining their flashlights all over the beach, despite the enormous and prolific “No Lights of Any Kind, they disturb the turtles” signage. Ah, well.)
Watching the sun set over the ocean is a beautiful sort of letting go, anywhere. (May we all say goodbye to the difficult and the loved with the grace and color of a cloud fondly saying farewell to the sun that has warmed it into life). For some reason, this sunset on Singer Island, felt especially lovely. The moon made an appearance. The breeze was warm, gentle and balmy.
As the lights of distant ships flickered and warmed, and the daylight faded, we found a sandy seat on the moonlit beach. The waves rolled gently. The stars appeared.
The Perseid’s streaked the sky a bit, and we named the constellations we knew. We used the “Pocket Universe” app for the one’s we didn’t remember. We chatted, and fiddled with some long camera exposures of the sky… and then we gazed quietly.
There is a magic in the sky, and I feel that it deepens with the light of stars.
Lying there, I remembered stargazing with a boy I had a crush on in high school – cold, awkward, and uncomfortably forward. I remembered running topless into the Aegean sea with a friend, drunk, to mirthfully float beneath a blanket of celestial bodies. I remembered feeling free beneath the moonlight on a nearly deserted beach in Crete. I felt the cold of winter walks through darkened streets after writing late into the night at the local tea shop in college. I have dreamed beneath the stars, given my tears to the stars when I am lost and weary, I have wished upon them, handed them my hopes, I have wondered at their vastness, I have been heartened and inspired that they are something we share with the other creatures upon this planet.
While lying on the beach with my dear friend, reconnecting with the stars, I remembered the isolation that I felt when the lights of the city, and my own sadness, blotted them out this past winter.
If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have never doubted the truth of Emerson’s musings about starts in Nature, and last night…I felt as if a piece of my soul, lost lifetimes ago, had joined me once more.
Lie down, tilt your head back. Imagine the people who have gloried in the glow of stars. Draw pictures between their points of light, tell stories, laugh, cry. If you can, spend time with the stars. If you are willing, ask them about yourself. They have so much to teach. And remember that you are a part of them – just as vast, your light just as bright, beautiful, and full of meaning.