Thursday, November 15, 2012

On outgrowing the stars

I remember being 15 or 19 and sitting at the dinner table with some adult dinner party and thinking how boringly practical the conversation was, how adults seemed complacent about the meaning of life and love and destiny and the big ideas that consumed me then. I hope I am never satisfied with comparing the price of milk and gas and analyzing the county school bus routes.

I remember being 15 or 19 and lying beneath the stars with a group of friends, or a cabin at camp, or someone I was interested in dating, and talking about life and love and destiny and the soul and identity and purpose and dreams for the world. I have never felt so full or alive as at these moments of opening my heart of big ideas to those I love. I have never felt so content and loved and certain there is meaning.

At what point do we outgrow looking at the stars? My thoughts and conversations these days are more like those adults at the dinner table, and when I do see a clear sky it is usually too cold or too busy to pay them much mind.

But I just moved to Western North Carolina, and the moon hasn't risen tonight and the sky is clear and the Milky Way is dancing, and I locked myself out of the apartment and my husband is an hour away. So I drive into the park and pull off into the gravel at Towhorse Creek, and lie on top of the car and shiver for a few minutes. I don't want to be too old to notice beauty. I don't want to be too practical to care. I don't want to be too jaded to believe in a God who knows the stars by name.

God once told Abraham he would be blessed by descendants as numerous as the stars. I think as I look up that God has blessed me with gifts as numerous as the stars. I want to learn, or re-learn, how to count the gifts.


  1. I was just telling my program chair today about the time we saw the northern lights.

  2. i was just talking w my brother how between the age of.. maybe 13, and now -- i think the main thing i learned is that the world is bigger and there's more to it... perhaps my mind went from more practical to more large-scale appreciation with finding God and what not. anyway, i appreciate your sentiment.