There is this canopy above us all which holds, contains and is lit up by, a multitude of stars.
There are many things which may come to mind when gazing at stars in the night sky. I wonder what it makes you think of?
Sometimes we might feel like we wish to rewrite the stars. Like this picture a friend sent me on a postcard, to make dot to dot and create our own constellations. I wonder what constellations we would mark out in our imaginations, in our lives? What images we would draw between the stars? Who might you find next to you, flying their celestial kite along with yours?
Sometimes we have been made to believe that the only star that matters is the ‘star of the show’ or the ‘rising star’. But then the night sky would look a little bereft. A little empty and sparse. Like a lot of things were missing. This is because night sky needs all of us to be here. To, ‘take our place in the family of things’ (thanks Mary Oliver for that glorious phrase), ‘take our place in the family of things’. Occupying our space is easier when we remember that stars are not picky or demanding. They teach us something about being, about kindness. Kindness is not picky or demanding either. Kindness and stars are not exclusive about where their light shines, they are universal givers. Beamed out freely. And so kindness and light fall all over, wherever, whatever, however. They can be stumbled across in the most unlikely of places.
Such kindness can be up close. A bit like the sun, our own star which gives us warmth, as well as light. The sun is a star which teaches us that much of the time, we do not have to look far away for kindness. Sometimes kindness can be given, and found, exactly here, to the left and right of us. Here a fellow star will be. Here a fellow star we will be. Even if it starts with our own reflection in the mirror. A little self-kindness, to reflect a little light back our way.
Other times stars are far away in time, place and space. Stars and people who shine their kindness brightly into the world through their art or music or stories or courageous acts (thank you to the likes of Positive News Magazine, https://www.positive.news/, for examples of this). Their kindness, and ours, are visible in the night sky, even from far away. Kindness and light never know how far they will reach, kindness and light may manage to cover great distances, across space, between hearts. They will likely never receive thanks, in the same way that we can never thank the stars. But we are grateful they are there, like I am here, you are here, shining both near and far, taking our place as part of the canopy of kindness, which covers us all.
Let me dwell under a canopy of kindness
haunches on haybales
of straw and compacted comfort
the anticipation of dancing
feet tapping on the
While drinks are poured
and glasses raised
to evenings like these
Which come like a cool
blowing away the stifled air
of my over – constricted life.