I am starting a new occasional series. These are random autobiographical chapters (random in time sequence). I have named the whole series Chapters from a Life.
Solace by stars
The stars were precious to me in early adolescence. They taught me about God. Grey at heart with inarticulate hurt and frustration, I would wander around the back yard at night. Tears are invisible in the dark. My parents would make silly jokes about my “communing with nature”, thankfully they were never interested enough to ask what I was really doing/thinking/feeling. So long as I jumped through the assigned hoops of being a “good girl” (doing well at school, being seen but not heard, asking for nothing) they took very little notice of the rest of what I was or did. I am glad they never knew the truth. They would have found a way to use it against me.
The dark garden, lit just enough by distant streetlights to be safe to walk in, was a sanctuary. I was safe inside our six foot paling fences, I was alone. I would look up at the stars and silently cry out all the longings of my heart for meaning and value. Most of my outer life was so meaningless; I yearned with my whole being to find something that would give me significance. The correct empty lives of my parents seemed so pointless. I have always been more afraid of boredom than of pain. I would lift up my eyes unto the stars (in suburbia there are no hills) and find peace and encouragement.
They were city stars that I gazed at, pale, high and remote. Since then I have seen country stars, sharp, fiery and close, and, while their beauty may be even greater, they are too intimate, almost intrusive, to speak the language I was hearing at fourteen or fifteen. These stars spoke a silver tongue. High, remote and lofty, they told me of a beauty that could not be sullied by the failures of this earth, a transcendent loveliness beyond my reach. But though I could not attain, I must strive towards them with everything that I was, and the very striving would be transformational. This was not the language of salvation, but it was the language that teaches the need of salvation. Though I did not know it at the time, I had fallen in love with holiness.