Wish Upon a Star
I first remember the stars having an impact on me when I was about ten years old. I was at summer Girl Scout camp and we were on an epic overnight bike trip. In actuality we probably just biked a few miles down the road and set up camp on the other side of the property. But to me, it felt like freedom. We took only our sleeping bags and food and drink for the night. After eating our dinner out of foil packets (anyone who has ever been a Scout knows the dinner) and then having melted chocolate and bananas in yet another foil packet, it was time for bed.
We rolled our sleeping bags out onto dewy grass and crawled in. It was at that point as I gazed upward that I was struck with the smallness that was me. For there above, was the Milky Way in all its glory, sparkling and begging me to tell it my wishes.
I have always lived where I can see the stars. In rural suburbia, the stars show as the sun sets over the horizon. It's commonplace and we take it for granted.
When Matt was about three we woke him in the middle of the night to watch an historical meteor shower. We bundled him up and carried him to our backyard and just sat and watched. The "shooting stars" came fast and furious and created quite the show in the sky. To this day, I have never seen anything quite like it. Matt remembers it too, which I am glad.
Where we live the stars often keep us company as we do out daily nighttime activities: take the garbage to the road, walk the dog and guide us home after sports practice.
At the end of the summer we travel to the mountains for our annual end of summer trip. The stars have been witness to all of our secrets. They have watched over my husband and I as we introduced the boys to the mountain evenings, laying on the dock in our own sleeping bags watching the Milky Way hurl itself across the sky and to now, as they become their own selves and sit around the campfire with summer friends creating new relationships.
Like generations before me, the stars have helped guide me. I reach to them to remind me of my smallness and to help with my burdens in life. And to this day, when I see that first twinkle in the sky, I am reminded of my ten year old self, laying under that open sky, telling the stars all my wishes.