I watch the stars disappear…one by one.
Stars. One by one. The North Star. Or group by group. The big dipper. Orion’s belt. Disappearing.
The stars were always visible when I felt at peace…my first memory of this (even though at the time I probably could not place the feeling) was sitting on the outside steps by the kitchen telling my mother about the nursery rhymes I learnt, especially “twinkle twinkle little star” and trying to figure out how the name “the big dipper” came about. It was night time and dark; very few lights around us but the stars kept me safe.
Then came the end of primary school and the class was taken on the end-of-primary-school trip to a game reserve. Every night the stars followed us; from the first night of comfort where we slept indoors to the last night where we slept outdoors. Trying to count millions of stars and losing track. Imagining the actual size of these tiny balls of fire that so many think are insignificant. Not to me. These tiny shimmers covering the sky like a blanket of warmth. This trip was also the first time I remember discovering sun rises…truly discovering the essence of watching the sun rise and realising that no matter what happened the night before the sun would always be there. This beautiful discovery led to a dilemma…the conundrum of wanting to be with the stars at night and absorb the feeling of peace but wanting to greet the sun as it ushers in a new day of possibility and unknowns.
I miss the stars.
Some of the deepest conversations I remember having were whilst looking at the stars, sitting outside, sipping on a cup of coffee, ignoring any mosquitoes buzzing around. In those conversations it was never what was said but the feelings that came with them that are memorable. I do not remember any words. I remember every feeling.
As I grew, the feeling of peace became smaller as each place I moved to stole more and more stars. The outside steps turned to balconies and the balconies stopped facing mountains and started facing other buildings. The stars were replaced with controllable lights and peace replaced with angst.
It seems to be daytime all the time now. And as I seem unable to find the stars again I throw myself into ignorance; pretending to believe that the stars no longer exist and that only the sun rises every day.