Watching the night sky for the Pleiades meteor shower
from the back porch, nothing above but clouds and airplanes,
bug bites at our ankles, a sudden track of headlights
against the house, pet eyes peering out a window.
“Not a meteor in sight,” I say aloud to my daughters
and the nothingness above us, both of them standing
on the picnic table leaning back into me
like two armfuls of warm laundry, asking me about the night,
wondering what do stars look like up close?
where does the sky begin? how long does it take to get there?
while I hold them next to me in a patch of backyard
in America, my wristwatch illuminating
the hour, my thoughts lost in the gap of time
between this night and forever, the wonders beyond,
the heavens so near, questions so simple,
and the answers so far beyond my knowing.
~Hank Hudepohl, “The Heavens” from Riverbank.
And this, then,
is the vision of that Heaven of which
we have heard, where those who love
each other have forgiven each other,
where, for that, the leaves are green,
the light a music in the air,
and all is unentangled,
and all is undismayed.
-Wendell Berry “To My Mother”
‘Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The solemn hour of midnight
Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,
But most where trees are sending
Their breezy boughs on high,
Or stooping low are lending
A shelter from the sky.
And there in those wild bowers
A lovely form is laid;
Green grass and dew-steeped flowers
Wave gently round her head.
~Emily Bronte “Moonlight, Summer Moonlight”
I try not to miss a light show above me. I both adore and abhor the feeling of entanglement and dismay by what I can not comprehend.
Standing outside on a clear summer night, I am overwhelmed by the heavens – the moon and stars are beacons of light at once so close and so far away. The dome over me feels infinitely divine and divinely infinite with no end within my capacity to witness. Now, with the most far away images by NASA from the Webb telescope, we see infinitely more with no end in sight. Surely Something or Someone will emerge momentarily with trumpets and fanfare to explain it all.
No trumpets. Not yet anyway.
Just the sounds of the owls hoo-hooing in the woods and the coyotes yipping in the fields. Only the ordinary below with the extraordinary always spinning above.
The heavens are made with Love and so are we.
I do wonder what might become of us all, we who are specks of intentionally created cosmic dust.
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One thought on “The Wonders Beyond Us”
The Webb telescope images–I think I, very audibly, gasped when they appeared on the TV screen last night.
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