We go to bed early, the windows thrust open to let in the night music: cicadas, frogs, the distant war-call of coyotes and foxes. Because we live at the end of the road, at the end of the world, we hear it all. Our bed is pushed up to the large window, so we balance on our knees (like children) and crane our necks, heads tilted upward at the stars. No other lights for miles around.
A howl bursts through the edge of the woods and we jump. Then giggle. Then sit back and just look.
The black is penetrated by each tiny light. Their numbers grow as our eyes adjust, blossoming outward. I spy one that flickers. I point it out.
“Whatever is happening to that star,” you remind me, “happened a very long time ago.”
The thoughts stumble all over each other out of nowhere. The hugeness of all that. The distance. The presence of time and space dilemmas in our everyday lives. How many nights have we not watched the stars? It’s a miracle, and the horror of forgetting that is staggering.
A plane soars in the sky with it’s own type of blinking lights. It is miles and miles away, but we can see it. It doesn’t know we are here, two people in a small house in the middle of nowhere, watching. Do the passengers realize they are like a star in the sky?
Next to our bed, the baby sleeps in her cradle. Her soft breaths mix with a coo every now and then, and I know she will sleep deeply tonight. She is so tiny, so free of knowledge. A perfect speck of light in the dark. A year ago she did not exist, and then, suddenly, she did exist inside my body. When she came out, I felt I’d always known her. How is that? I can’t wrap my mind around it any more than the stars.