canopy of stars

After teaching a night class at a neighboring university this semester, my husband and I drive back from Greenwood all the way to Chapin. This takes about an hour & 20. One of the perks is being outside at night, in a rural state, and looking out the car window. I can look because usually, my husband is driving. He is my companion and he accompanies me every week on this venture, usually driving to allow me to sleep or sometimes to catch up on reading something on the way TO that class. I appreciate his company. On the way back home after the class is over, I look out the window, to a canopy of stars. This canopy is unlike anything you’ve ever seen in a city. It is unlike anything you’ve ever seen living CLOSE to a city. This is a myriad layer upon layer of glittering light.

I am fascinated with stars and the sky, and watch them all the time. I do not feel settled until I have found the Big Dipper to get my orientation to reality. There are 3 little stars that are always in a row, together, pointing out in the direction of northwest. On the road back from Greenwood, I find that these 3 stars in a row are SURROUNDED by layers and layers of sparkling diamonds! From my house in our neighborhood, where we have irritating bright security lamps placed by the Neighborhood Association, I cannot see these diamonds. The Neighborhood Association says the blaring beacons are for our “safety”. In reality, we know they are placed so the people on that committee can see through their secret cameras 24/7, because they have nothing better to do than to spy. After all, the beacons are not in their side or backyard — they’re in mine.

In any case, these are the bounties of living in a rural state: Being aware of the canopy of stars, and layer upon layer of glittering diamonds, all available free in an enlightening and entertaining show. And we are a part of it. Looking out at the canopy, you realize just how vast is the universe, and how tiny is your own little star, your own little place within it.


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