Flying over Manhattan at night is beautiful to behold. Below lays a glittering, golden metropolis — silent, twinkling, sprawling. An utter transformation from its gray and gritty daytime self. At night, the city enters the realm of the magical, the fairytale, the mystical.
In a way, it’s an odd reversal of star-gazing, as if we have created a facsimile of the stars here on earth, to be viewed from above.
I have read that there are tours for stargazing that take you to far away places where the night sky still reigns. It must feel like taking a step back in time, where we can see the sky as we saw it for hundreds of thousands of years — an upper land that played before our eyes, the shapes and patterns of stars and planets shifting and traveling with the seasons. The firmament must have been held as a mix of prayer, ritual, entertainment, wonder, and peace. An infusion of beauty that the human night soul absorbed in quiet, simple, cosmic connection.
I had a taste of that connection growing up in small-town Illinois. The night sky was a source of beauty, anytime you wanted to step outside and look up. Which we often did, inspired by the curiosity of our mom. From the prosaic location of the driveway or the sidewalk out back, she would stand beneath the glittering stars and marvel in wonder. We would crane our necks this way and that trying to locate the Big Dipper or Orion’s Belt, and question if some of the brightest stars were actually planets — Venus or Mars.
And years later, visiting my sister’s house out in the country in Oregon, we have stretched out in the deck chairs and gazed at the firmament — growing excited at the shooting stars, feeling that instant connection to a distant past, and to something far far beyond earth worries. It seems almost too wondrous to believe that all you have to do is gaze upwards at night to dip into another world full of mystery and beauty, inconceivably distant and enormous — yet ever-present, just there for the taking.
7 thoughts on “The Night Sky”
Wow! Linda – this is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read! And that’s saying something cause I read a lot! Be sure to tweet it so I can tweet it to my 27 – yeah count’em! – followers.
Thank you, Esther! I’ll tweet it now.
I’ve always loved looking up at the night sky full of stars too. You’ve written a wonderful piece!
Thank you, fellow stargazer!
I Love your story of the The Night Sky! You write so beautifully! I just finished leaving reviews on all five books in your Christmastime Series. ( Amazon ) Linda, that series took my breath away! They were the best books that I have ever read! It would be wonderful to see this series made into a movie like SINCE YOU WENT AWAY…! I have told so many of my friends about this series. A friend of mine works for a small library in Westville, In. She said that they don’t have your books but is going to check on other libraries to see if she can find them. My wish is that ALL libraries will carry this series! I can hardly wait for your books CHRISTMASTIME 1939 and CHRISTMASTIME 1945 to be finished and ready for sale ( no pressure! ha! ) I Would LOVE for you to write a book continuing the story of Ursula and Friederich! I became so involved in ALL of the stories, but THAT one blew it out of the ball park for me!! All of your characters became very real to me and that has never happened before! You write with such class and good taste that it warms my heart, and from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!! Kathie Burkhart
Thank you, Kathie!! And thank you so much for spreading the word and for leaving reviews on Amazon for the Christmastime books.
I’ll write a longer response via email about the libraries.