I took an extra long walk with Sgt. Pepper tonight because it’s a lovely night out, the moon is nearly full (looks totally full to me), the sky is clear, the stars are bright, and there are magnificent holiday light displays along our street that I hadn’t seen yet. When I returned to my house, I walked to the backyard with Pep to turn off the holiday lights we have wrapped around the porch, and around the back door. Once it was totally dark in the backyard, I took a moment to stop and really look at the stars. Since I was a teenager, I’ve turned to them as a point of meditation. During times of anger, depression, loneliness, I would wander out to the front or back yard, and just stare at the night sky. I lived in the country, so there was no ambient light to disrupt the star shine.
As I stood in my backyard tonight, I closed my eyes and envisioned my childhood home out in the country on this night. The silence, the darkness, my great-aunt watching tv in the cabin next door (she still lives out there), all of her dogs. I remembered my great-grandmother watching me from that cabin window as I boarded my school bus each morning, playing “postman” and “tea party” with her and my great-aunt, my dad roaring to work in his truck, my mom shifting gears in her Pinto as she drove home (I could hear her from miles away), the happy Christmases that were had in that house, how I could never convince dad to hang up lights outside. Did it all happen in this lifetime? All of these people who kept my world afloat, many of them only memories now. People I couldn’t imagine being without, who now seem as if from a dream because their absence has lingered so long. Some days I focus on the absence, and others on my happiness at having known them at all. Tonight, I was happy in my memories, and in the present moment, and when I opened my eyes, I saw a shooting star.