One of the relationships that reminds us to live in everyday wonder is our relationship with Nature. One of my favorite summer events is watching the Perseid meteor shower on an August night. The viewing is best when the sky is clear and dark because I am far from the city lights and the moon is a small crescent moon or has not yet risen above the horizon. Lying back on the grass or sand or reclining in a lawn chair, I can watch the stars slowly move across the sky. On especially dark nights in remote areas like Zion National Park or U.S. 395 near Lee Vining, it can seem as if a graphics designer has filled the sky with shining stars. With a constellation guidebook, we can easily identify the various constellations. Remembering that this is what the night sky really looks like in comparison to the few stars visible on a typical night in a big city, jolts me out of any sense of smallness or complacency. At the peak of the Perseid showers, 50 to 75 shooting stars dash across the sky every minute. In 2022, people in North America will have their best view during the pre-dawn hours of August 11 to 12. It is a magnificent show!
As I contemplate this amazing display of Nature and the seemingly infinite number of stars, I am reminded that the Universe is the manifest body of the Divine. Surely there is a Power greater than I that is guiding and caring for all of Creation. I feel small and yet like an integral part of the Universe, all at the same time.
As I let my consciousness expand to welcome Nature’s infinite embrace, I become aware of the Infinite and Loving Intelligence that is both observing me and watching the magnificent star display through my eyes and emotions. Carl Sagan, the American astronomer, poetically described this moment of realization when he said, “We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
Love and light,