Ever since girls’ night last month, I’ve noticed the stars, in particular the shooting ones. (Are they shooting or falling?) I don’t have to watch too long before one streaks through the sky here. I grew up in a big city with lots of light pollution, and I rarely saw a shooting star. My dad and I used to look at the stars at night. He showed me the basic constellations: Orion, Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Ursa Major and Minor, though those last two I couldn’t find if I tried. He showed me how to find Mars and the North Star.
I look for direction now. I’m setting goals and telling myself to take my own damn advice. “Shoot for the stars,” I hear in my head. “What do you want and when do you want it by and what will you do to achieve that by then?” Then, I take some more of my own damn advice. “Don’t over-think things. Take action and let some of it fall into place as it will.”
Where’s my North Star? How do I find it? Have I already found it, and I just need to follow? Why do some things seem so clear and others make me feel fuzzy and grey, like a cornered mouse? Muddled like the Milky Way.
Now that I live about as close to the stars as a person can get on this continent with little around me but the highway and a few neighbors, I take stellar inventory every week. When I get home from my late shifts, I get out of my car, look upward, listen to the stillness, and watch the show, even when it’s zero degrees outside. In the summer, they tempt me to sit on the deck and admire them rather than going to bed. The stars haven’t won yet, but maybe they will this week, if it’s warm and clear and not too late.