I have two cuts on my hand and a couple bruises on my shins, from bumping into things in the dark. I’m sweating underneath 5 layers but my fingers and toes feel like icicles. I’ve been sitting outside in the 2 degree C weather for the last hour and a half. Why?

For the first time in forever, I’ve seen the light. I’ve seen Jupiter with my naked eye, and can name the stars of the winter hexagon by heart. I’ve marveled at the brilliance of the twins, Castor and Pollux, and been struck by Taurus’s horns. I now understand Carl Sagan’s quote, “We are made of starstuff,” and Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

Life is a messy place, where there are imperfections and impurities no matter what you do. There will always be a challenge to mess you up, something to make you stumble. No matter what you do, there will be many difficulties, things that you never expect to see.

But that’s okay.

Even in the perfect harmony of the heavens, impurities exist. The stars sputter and die, some with a bang and others with a whimper. Black holes exist with their apparent horizons grabbing in all of the photons of light, or burning balls of not fire, but plasma, eating its way to oblivion. The perfect circular paths of planets are done away with, to be replaced with oblong ovals. Space is as messy as life.

Looking up, I feel small against those infinitely brilliant twinkling lights. What nebulae have they seen, what civilizations have passed under their gaze? But above it all, I just feel so blessed to be part of God’s creation.

I don’t really have a purpose in writing tonight, other than to encourage others to look up, and to look up frequently. We are all burdened with our lives, so sometimes it is better to float among the stars.

Camera is Nikon D5100, 1.3 second shutter. Taken 1/24/14, 9:12 PM

I still can’t believe that I saw Jupiter.

Camera is Nikon D5100, 1.3 second shutter. Taken 1/24/14, 9:12 PM

Look, most of the winter hexagon!


One thought on “Starstuff

  1. Do you know of any good resources on constellations and stargazing? I’ve been trying to teach myself names of stars and constellations but I haven’t found any good ones yet. Nice to know someone else enjoys staring at the night sky as much as I do!

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