When I lived in California, once every few months I'd travel from LA to San Francisco to see friends and escape the sprawl for a while. I often did the drive at night, to avoid traffic, and I have vivid memories of driving through the San Joaquin Valley feeling a little like I was hurtling through limbo, nothing but vast dark emptiness and flat farmland for miles in every direction.
One of those nights, when I was speeding through the darkness, something changed -- maybe I was driving in a new lane, or I'd noticed a new billboard ... who knows -- and I caught a glimpse of the sky. I was stunned. So stunned that I had to pull over, opening the sun roof of my little blue ford Escort. Peter Gabriel was blasting, the cold air was rushing in. I got out, despite the trucks thundering past, and gaped in wonder. There must have been thousands, and thousands, of stars. I stood there weeping at the side of the freeway, grateful beyond words that I'd been given such an unspeakably beautiful gift, an epiphany of belonging, a feeling of being held by the Universe, of being one of the stars.
|photo credit: Jhenline, wikimedia commons|
I had to catch my breath; it was too beautiful for words.
If only we could all feel like this all the time. It's a little like holding the stars, isn't it? Maybe the most important thing is to notice it, and embrace the Universe right back, when we are lucky enough to find ourselves in the presence of that kind of a gift.