Monday, August 13, 2007

The Art of Sky Gazing

Yesterday was a day for looking at the sky. Notice, I didn't title this "The Art of Star Gazing", though we did that. We also gazed at clouds. And guess what? It was one of my best days in a long time.

Yesterday afternoon, in the sweltering heat of the day, my husband and the boys and I went for a little walk with Jack. Jack needs practice 'loose leash' walking and the boys needed to get out of the house.

At the end of the walk, we lay down on some soft grass under a couple of shady trees on the school ground near our home and looked up. Way up.

Ooh, that reminds me ... when I was a child my favorite TV program was
The Friendly Giant. It was through shows like this that I came to appreciate the world around me. I can still clearly recall the theme song "Early One Morning". I think this show was primarily a Canadian show, so you probably have no idea what I'm talking about.

Anyway, lying there on the grass, my dog attentively watching the world around him, my hand comfortably grasped in the hand of my husband, my children rolling around on the grass, that I experienced a moment of true bliss.

I did not have a terribly happy childhood. There was abuse, neglect, abandonment ... you name it. However, what I did have is a highly active imagination and loads of time in which to use it.

Cloud gazing was one of my most favorite pastimes.

I can still feel, like it's happening to me at this moment, the feel of intermittent sparkles landing on my face like kisses from heaven, as the leaves of the trees above me flash in the wind. I saw in the cloud formations above me, not random shapes but rather whole worlds and sometimes even angels. I felt close to God, though I had no religious training; I felt the connection to my
Maker in my soul.

My children did not grasp the beauty of the moment we were sharing. They enjoyed, for a second, seeing what shapes they could discern in the clouds, but they didn't have the patience or interest in remaining there to let time pass. My husband and I, however, staid for quite a while. We even came up with a new book idea inspired by the clouds. Not that I need a new book idea when my idea shelf is already full, it was still a joyful experience to find another idea inspired by a childhood love of solitude. I wish my children could have these same memories, but I can't
make them. I can only provide the opportunity and hope they find the joy in it, as I once did.

Later that night we drove up to Little Cottonwood Canyon to watch the Perseid meteor shower.

We all lay on top of our SUV, comfy in our sweats, laying on blankets with pillows to cushion us, but best of all, squished together so arms pillowed heads and hands stroked, and our togetherness buoyed us. It was wonderful. Another moment of bliss. How lucky am I to have experienced two such moments in one day?

We only saw a handful of shooting stars, but as they were my childrens' first, they were joyous. Best of all to David and I, was the conversation we enjoyed with our boys while the blanket of stars lay over us.

We talked of everything from UFO's and Aliens, to the wonders of God's creation; from how being a good person is more likely to gain you success in life to how you ask a girl to marry you; from the science of shooting stars, to the blessing of the sealing ordination. It was wondrous.

We'll definitely go back next year to see this natural light show, but David and I also feel like we want to find opportunities to do more sky gazing with the boys. It brought a peace to all of our hearts and opened our minds to all the possibilities that this amazing world holds for us. We all deserve many such 'best days'.

Have you experienced bliss lately?