My mom and sis-in-law live in the country. I like it there. A lot. I'd move in a skinny minute if we didn't need to have access to resources like pdocs and therapies and such. I've always been a country gal at heart which is funny because my sisters prefer the city life.
Not me. Give me green. OK, not pine pollen green, but anything green and living and photosynthesizing. Give it to me. And give me big open spaces and wide vistas. And sky! Lawdy, I need me some SKY! Huge fluffy clouds or evil, brooding storm clouds, I don't care. Just give me sky that meets the earth in a 180 degree panoramic view and I'm happy as a clam. Just slap-my-fanny-and-call-me-nanny happy. LOVE it.
The best part about sky? Stars.
Oh.my.stars. In the country there are stars. The kind of stars where you go outside and your eyes adjust to the night light and you look up into the black of the night and at first only a few stars pop out and twinkle. Then you breathe deep and let out a slow exhale all while gazing at the sky and five hundred more stars appear and they have depth and dimension, color and variation. If you stay out there long enough you'll hear some bats and an owl, see the glowing eyes of some possums and you'll see even more stars. So many stars that the sky seems bright, heavy and almost crushing because it is so full of STARS!
And if you like to do some existential thinking (which i do), you can look up at those stars while you get a little goose-pimply chill from the cool night breeze and maybe an absentminded slap on the left arm to whap the thirsty mosquito that has considered you as his dinner and you can ponder life. Hundreds of thousands of solar systems in hundreds of thousands of galaxies in hundreds of thousands of universes all hanging among those stars. And you're sitting on a stoop, very much alive, very much surrounded by other living things so much so that the air is heavy with the scent of green and life and you think there just HAS to be more to this life than this stoop in the country. Those stars. Just look at all those stars!
Then a dog will bark you out of your reverie and someone will come looking for you because they need something and you'll snap back to reality, shuffle your aching, stiff bum off the stairs and go back in, in to life.
Sissy being gone is like sitting on that stoop in the country, gazing at the stars and thinking grandiose, existential thoughts. I feel so huge and so tiny, so capable and strong yet so frail, so full of life and also so empty. I feel like everything is out there for the taking, nothing is unavailable to me, the world is my oyster and I can accomplish anything. I feel so alive, so energized, so safe, so free.
Eventually, I'll have to go back inside.
I wish it was possible to have this vitality with Sissy as part of the picture. I wish she wanted that reality for herself. For now, I'll just enjoy the stars.
my favorite poem - which I have also sung with my college choir in what now seems like another lifetime. Ever since, I've not been able to read this poem without hearing the tune we sang it to. eight part a capella chamber music. amazing.
Choose Something Like a Star
by Robert Frost - 1947
O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud --
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.
Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says "I burn."
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.