January 23, 2013

When we land at night...

When we land at night… 
The jet plane slowly descending over the illuminated urban landscape,
I press my face against the cold layers of reinforced glass in the airplane's window.
I stare out at the bright, golden lights of Chicago - especially suburbia.
I watch the toy cars moving slowly along skinny roads - at stop lights, turning into driveways.
The rows and rows of golden streetlights help me forget that my face is cold
And I press my forehead to the glass harder to get a better look.
My eyes roam across the skyline soaking in all the glittering beauty of the miniature world below
I don’t want to miss one street lamp or bright, city light

Then we pass over a patch of black
With no street lights to illuminate back roads, nothing must live there
I have completely forgotten myself.
What is it? I wonder. A park? A golf-course? The country-side?

Then I remember that the rows and rows of glittering street lights
Are the reason I can’t see the stars in Elgin…
Orion sits right above my house in Virginia; I don’t know where he sits here
I think about the big stars and the medium stars and the teeny, tiny stars that only show
When you’ve hiked for a day into the mountains of Burma
You probably didn’t even know about the teeny, tiny stars. I didn’t.
But they’re there in a night sky whose brilliance stretches on and on
With more glittering pearls in the sky than empty darkness
My eyes roam over every constellation and speck in the sky
And I want to soak it in, I want to behold it all and never forget it
I open my eyes wider; hoping the enduring essence of the night sky will become a part of me
My heart is full – of joy, I think. Of wonder and awe.
I feel infinite and finite at the same time – that I am everything and nothing.
I am small and yet, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve come to understand about the world

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