I love the night skies in America. Or at least, in Richland, Michigan that is.
I love the way the stars drop down to the dark horizons and then explode the more and more you tilt your head up towards the twinling. I love the way the misty clouds sift their way through the blackness that is night, sometimes almost unrecognizable to the unobserving eye. And I admire the stars---just as they are---and nothing more. They don't pretend to be anything else. They simply, shine and shine.
And they embody beauty---pure beauty from a human perspective---even though we learn from science class what these tiny fire nightlights are really made up of. And whenever I find myself running beneath them, whenever I find myself looking up longer than I've been looking straight ahead, I can't help but feel at peace. I can't help but think of peace. Why do stars do this to me? Why do I always remember my Taylor years and the Upland night skies the moment I catch a glimpse of the heavens at night?
One night a few months ago while in a tiny village deep in the farming fields of Shandong, China, I experienced an eyefull one night when the sky was bombarded with stars, nearly bursting at the seams of the heavens. It was a cosmological miracle, and my eye heart could not believe my eyes. And then, my heart gave away one breath. I stumbled to try and take it all in, wanting to not leave anything out of my own mind and memory. I didn't want to forget by morning what a night this had been because I now realize and am learning day-by-day that every morning, every new day is simply another chance to get it right. To---before you lay your head down on the pillow that night---see beauty, and meditate on it and admire it and totally be filled in awe of it. And this type of admiration is connected to love, which is connected to God, which is connected to every one of us whether we believe it or not. And on that night in this tiny, tiny Chinese village, my friend looked over at me and wondered what I was looking at. And for once in my life, I didn't feel the need to answer.
I simply stared up and off into the distance, my eyes glowing reflections of millions of rays of beaming light. And on that night, I felt happy. The kind of happiness that touches on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, humility and self-control. And this, I've come to realize, is one of the millions of ways we feeble humans worship the Trinity (the Sun, the Moon, the Stars). The three total, perfect, whole lights that run through every fiber humanity comes to experience. The lights that no person, in their entire life, can possibly do (or live) without. They are three, but they are one.