Starry Nights (19)

At June Lake
in the eastern sierra
on a Sunday night
I see the stars
for the first time
in four years.
They seem surreal
so even when I am ready to sleep
I put my glasses back on again
to watch them once more
through the car window.
How could I have gone
all this time
without seeing them
like this?
Monday night
further north and west
in oak woodlands
I float on my back
in hot mineral water
and again
I marvel at the night sky
alive with stars.
Even without my glasses
I can see the Milky Way.
I can see
how the stars
go on and on
deep and deeper
away from where I lie
looking up.
Without trying
I see three shooting stars.

photo of stars with the Milky Way

For years
I have sought and cherished
the stars in my skies
the dippers
the cross I found and tracked in Mexico
who became my companion
and the star who hangs
in the western sky
at dusk
the one I wish on at home
first star I see tonight.
But I have had amnesia.
I have forgotten
what it is like
to live with stars like this.

I float in the warm water
breathe sulfured air
stretch my legs
my arms
wiggle my toes
spread my fingers wide.
I stare at the sky
filled with bright beings
And for a moment
I have vertigo.
I feel like I am falling
into the night sky
because it is so deep
goes so far.
And I think
to live where we can’t see this
where our sky is only two-dimensional
is wrong.

[Editor’s note: This photograph is copyrighted by David Miller/DMI. You can find the full image here:]

About Riba

I'm a writer and a teacher, though I usually say it in reverse. I hope to find more of a balance between the two. ;-)
This entry was posted in Life, Nature, Reflections, Spirituality, Thoughts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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