Tonight we celebrated the return to normal time with our first moonlit walk of the season.
For our family, these nocturnal jaunts are a regular occurrence throughout the winter. Why? Well because we have a rather high strung dog. A dog who has the unfortunate tendency to poop in the house when he doesn’t get his nightly jaunt. So unless it’s 50 below zero or so icy you need skates to make your way up the street, we bundle up and head on out.
That’s not to say we always enjoy these walks. As a matter of fact, once it gets cold and dark, I tend to grump my way up the street and back. And tonight started out to be no exception.
I was annoyed that my gloveless hands were chilly on the stroller’s handlebars. I was disgruntled because I couldn’t see where I was going—and growling because our flimsy little umbrella stroller kept getting stuck between the sidewalk and the grass (I have a steering problem when it’s dark).
But then Tori looked up—and her face glowed. “Sky!” she crowed. “Sky!”
She was seeing the night sky, complete with twinkling stars, probably for the first time. She goes to bed early—too early to see dark in the summer—and the winter was so cold last year, we didn’t get out much. And when we did? She was too bundled up to look in any direction other than straight ahead.
So I stopped and looked up. I looked and I pointed out the stars and I forgot to be grumpy.
The night sky really is beautiful. Especially where we are—our small town is free of the light pollution found in big cities. There are so many stars that it baffles the mind—all glittering brightly like tiny little Christmas lights in the sky.
We continued on our way, seeing everything with new eyes—the way Tori was seeing it. I noticed how the streetlights gave off warm pools of orange, turning our shadows into fun house mirrors. I smiled at the colored lights our Hindu neighbors had strung to celebrate Diwali, cheering the night.
But most of all, I looked up. Up at that beautiful sky—the one I pass under every day, but rarely notice.
And that’s why as we walked home we saw it—the shooting star. We stood still as it streaked across the night sky, Tori pointing at its fiery tail. Just before it winked out of existence, I realized I should make a wish. But all I could think to ask for were more moments like this.
More moments free from worry, from bitterness and from stress. More time spent focusing on the here and now, rather than waiting for the future to arrive. More days spent acting like a kid again—with our kid.
So my wish? Was just to remember to look up a little more often. Look up and be happy.
I’m pretty sure that one will come true.