I stood in the cold morning, my husband’s robe wrapped tightly around me. Darkness stretched a million miles above, though the sky was obscured with clouds. In one corner of the heavens, there was a small window into the universe, and stars winked down at me.
It was 3 a.m. I was on a scouting mission. A meteor shower had been predicted, and I planned to wake the children for the show, if there was one. But it wasn’t to be– this tiny hatch into the roof of the world didn’t reveal any shooting stars, and it threatened to close at any moment. And yet, despite the dark and cold, and the call of a warm bed waiting for me, I couldn’t quite shuffle back into my hobbit hole.
The longer I stood there, in the quiet… the smaller I became. Night grew large, darkness swelled, and I shrank to a little point of light. My perspective shifted under the celestial height, and I remembered. I am a tiny thing.
We need that sometimes, don’t you think? We need to see our humanity– the sum of all our existence, in relation to something immeasurable.
It’s okay to say it. We are measurable. We are blips. Just flickers in the great, unending cosmos. Though we shy away from the truth of it, the fact is, this life is moving at the speed of light, and we are zooming through our mortality like shooting stars. The good and the bad- our victories and defeats- our triumphs and our sufferings– they are all part of this tiny human flash of light that has but a moment in the sky.
And that’s okay.
It’s actually really amazing.
We can begin to see what’s truly important when we see our place in the bigger picture. We see what lasts, what matters. In the face of such vastness, how can we not be free from the small troubles of the day? How they wane under the night sky! But mostly, we see that we are not the center of the universe. And that’s always a good thing. That’s worth standing in the dewy grass all by yourself at 3 a.m. for.
I marveled a moment more, caught in thoughts too big for my sleepy head. I yawned up at the darkness. Yes, we move from this life like shooting stars. But it is not the end, oh no. We will wake up from this dimly lit world into a place of Brilliant Light. Where there is no night, no cover of clouds. We are not dying stars in the next life. We are not falling out of an endless sky anymore. We’ve made it, we’re there, in a place where the Sun never sets and joy never ends. Isn’t that marvelous? Does your heart not sing at the thought? Mine did, there in the solitude.
The night had revealed all it would, so I made my way back to the warmth that waited. I slipped into my bed, into my cozy earthly life.
Stars shined on, and I slept.