Yesterday, I turned 57. It was a very good day.
0559, this morning, walking the dog while staring up at the stars, a shooting star, one of the fast, bright Perseids with a tail so long and white, zipped in and out of the atmosphere, right after I said, aloud, “I don’t need to see a shooting star – I can see them ALL!”
Pre-dawn, the sky above our neighborhood always tells a story. Some mornings, the fog rolling down from the Blue Ridge nods to leaving the house 10 minutes earlier than normal; in autumn, the deer run dusk through dawn, making the commute thick and vigilant.
Other mornings, the air is cool and peppered with someone’s fireplace warming early-risers, or soft and clean with the night rains.
My favorite skies are the ones where I am alone, usually in my nightwear covered by an old sweatshirt, and sandals, in the middle of our dark, un-lit street staring up at the stars. The dog, puttering around in the grass by the old split-rail fence that crumbles year-by-year into our wooded meadow. I should be watching her, to make sure she’s done her ‘business’ before we head back inside, but I’m too busy looking up. This morning, I was rewarded greatly. (I have no idea whether she pooped or not but she received a treat, regardless. It’s not her fault I wasn’t paying attention.)
When that great big star zipped over the roof – as if to announce the new day or flare some good news we all hope to hear – I made a wish:
I hope to see another 57 years; under my own steam, on my own feet, and in my right mind. Thank you for these first 57.
Long life, good health, and a strong constitution for my father, who has been through the unthinkable the last few years, especially the last months, with the loss of his wife, our mother. It is hard to be half of a duo. Being half feels alone and frightening, and is not an easy adjustment. Please let him know he is not alone, that he is whole, and we love him harder than thunder can bump a stump. Always.
I wish to finish a book in November, and when published, it is well-received (however it needs to be). [This is more about me doing than some magical event.]
I wish we all find joy in the everyday; that gratitude asserts itself in front of worry and complaint, and that our appreciation of the simpler things grows into accomplishment and not just a coping mechanism.
- this is all aloud, mind you. Any neighbor witnessing this ritual would mark me ‘the crazy lady who walks her dog in her nightgown and talks to herself in the dark.’ They wouldn’t be all wrong… –
Just before we, the dog and I, rounded the house from the driveway toward the back door, my eye caught something bright and tail-like through the naked tree, high above the house. I’d like to think it was another shooting star, in reply.