On the Night Sky


Last night, just before bed, I took my dog Tucker out for his final stroll around the yard.  He’s an old guy; it takes some time.  While he was wandering, I looked up at the sky.

I make a point of doing that most nights.  Several years ago (again while walking the dogs, but back then it was two…) I looked up and realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I had studied the sky — night sky, day sky — for more than a few seconds to judge the weather.  It shamed me.  There is much that is marvelous to be seen in our sky, and none of it mundane.  Ever-changing; always glorious.

At any rate, I looked up at the stars and thought about how so many of them are “old friends.”  The Big Dipper was the first constellation I learned to find.  Orion’s Belt calls to me like home.  Cassiopeia.  Canis Major (and Minor).  I thought about how many are unnamed in my head (not that names matter to THEM).  I wondered how many were already dead and gone, burned out, their glory a memory of light sent across the galaxy.  I wondered what the sky would look like long after I’m gone.  There’ll be new stars, new constellations, new names.

And I will not be here to know them.

I started to cry.  Not because I fear death.  (I don’t know yet whether I fear death or not.)  I cried because it’s all so amazing, all so beautiful and incomprehensible and awful (the original meaning — full of awe; reverential; when and why did we change that word to mean something terrible?).  I cried because I will miss it.

So I told the sky that, standing out in my yard talking to the stars.  I will miss you.  I will miss your glory.  Your fierce storms and burning sun.  Your kind showers and gentle sunshine.  Your snow and clouds and ice and comets and wind and all of it.  I look out the window of my office across stone walls and fields and woods and I know at the deep heart-root of my soul that I love it.

I need to remember this feeling.  I need to carry it with me daily.  Take it out and look at it daily.  And not forget.

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About Melissa Crandall

A million years ago--round-about the first Ice Age--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and science fiction media tie-in novels. I'm happy to say that I've since branched out to include fantasy, horror, essays, and narrative nonfiction. This site will keep you up-to-date on my adventures in writing. I live in Connecticut with my husband--who frequently wonders what he got himself into by marrying a writer--two cats named Tuna and Gypsy, and a semi-neurotic Australian shepherd named Holly.
This entry was posted in Darling Wendy, death, dying, Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mainstream Fiction, Melissa Crandall, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to On the Night Sky

  1. Suzi says:

    Thank you for your words, for taking us on a stroll with you and Tucker through your yard, for reminding us to look again… to experience this moment while embracing, as best our little selves can, the vast past and the expanding future… imagining stars that may be long gone, but their light still reaches us, as I hope my little bit of light that I have been and am at present, will continue too… over time and space… not that I need my name attached to it, I just hope my intentions for good matter and make a difference for good for all

  2. Becky says:

    I don’t know your feelings on this, but how can anyone see such beauty all around and not believe in a forgiving, loving, generous wonderful Lord? I am reinforced in my belief daily when I see all that is before me.
    Thank you for all the wonderful visions you put in my mind.
    Becky

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