Sitting outside staring up at an umbrella of stars quiets my mind like nothing else can. If I'm lucky, I'll catch a view of a shooting star slicing through the mix.
Meteor showers are frequent and spectacular up here in the mountains. I can stand at the end of my driveway and have a 360 degree view of the sky above mountain tops with only the sound of the wind moving pine needles to accompany me. I am sure it's the same out at sea. Often I wonder what that would be like to be on a sailboat in the midst of the ocean at night under a sea of shooting stars hearing only the sound of the water against the hull. It must be amazing.
I remember being 21, a little bit drunk, philosophizing with a guy from Puerto Rico and a girl from Long Island as we laid on our backs in an Austrian field and studied the stars above us. Even then I viewed the sky as the great unifier of all humanity. One moon shines the way for all of us who wander in the night no matter where we are in the world.
During my most troubled times...when I felt lost and alone and hopeless...I would look up toward the sky and surrender. No, nothing paranormal ever happened. Just peace. Just a knowing that my problems were small matters in comparison to the universe.
And during my happiest times, my moments of bliss, I looked toward the sky with gratitude and a knowing that all was as it should be. The earth turned. The moon shined. Meteors dashed across the stars. Constant.
Where ever you are tonight, I hope you can see the stars. And if you can't, if the city lights or clouds block them from view, know that they are always there shining and blinking. Constant companions and witnesses to our triumphs, our tragedies and our tedious concerns.
No matter where we are in this world, there are stars above us, moonlight to illuminate our path and--hopefully--good beer and new friendships to make our journey bearable.
Peace to you.