Star-crossed lover

The other night, I got home after a frigid cycle in the dark to find my key would no longer turn in my lock.

I did what any self-respecting 9-5er would do: stomped my foot, threw the keys on the pavement, and called a local philosopher to come help me out.

Then I sat on the stone-cold patio and looked up.

Remember these?

Wish I could say that the above was the view from said patio.

I counted around 20 stars, and decided to lie down propped on my bag for a second try. It’s been quite a while since I spent some one-on-one time with an evening star. Whenever I do, it inevitably sends chills up my spine.

A part of me still struggles to believe that astronomy isn’t a giant conspiracy theory. How could all of those stationary flecks be planets and suns and stars an infinity of miles away from my patio? I especially struggle when I notice one of them moving steadily toward Heathrow airport; the realization that a man-made machine could successfully front as a star only increases my doubt. So I squeeze my eyes shut and try to imagine a galaxy, or 1000 galaxies, and the distance between me and the evening star in question, and think about how tiny I am, and how unbelievable it is that I live in this leafy globe and breathe in atmosphere and eat stuff that grows in dirt. And then I wonder at how it is I can still feel significant in the face of all this grandeur, significant enough to worry about.

My part-time suspiciousness of stars is the same way I sometimes feel about God. Confused, amazed, delusional, honored.

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