I’VE BEEN THINKING
Carol Goodman Heizer is an author who moved to Hood County from Louisville, Kentucky in 2019. She has had short stories and articles published in six editions of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books. Her column for the Hood County News will appear every two weeks. She was a public school teacher for 17 years, earlier in her professional career.
“Star light, star bright, first star I’ve seen tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might have the wish I wish tonight.” A little rhyme from childhood that has lingered in many of us through adulthood.
It was most likely one of the first little poems we learned as children. As we began our first faltering steps as infants, we glued our eyes to the ground as we attempted to coordinate vision and walking. We scanned the earth for stones to snatch, roots to step over, and ants to catch.
But somewhere along the way, we became aware of a broader dimension to our world, and we began looking around. We first saw things nearby. But one night, something magical happened. Our eyes wandered heavenward, and we were astonished at what we beheld. As we peered into the darkness above us, we were overwhelmed by the beauty that quietly awaited someone’s notice in the darkness on high. From that blackness came twinkles, sparkles, flickers, and blinks that magically popped from the drab celestial overhead.
It was probably on this day (or rather, night) of our life that we first heard that familiar little poem but did not know its full meaning. All we knew was that we were watching something wonderful and different from anything we had ever seen in the daylight. The quietness made the wonder seem even more magical. Perhaps we thought if we reached high enough, we could touch one of those glimmering little specks. After all, they couldn’t be very large. They were simply a tiny little speck in that big, big sky!
Then we started attending school and learned all that scientific stuff about stars – that they are huge balls of fire glowing gas in the sky. Then we wondered how they could be so huge, yet appear so small. Then we learned it was because they were so far away.
There is part of a song that occasionally dances its way through my mind. I don’t recall the song title or artist, but it tells us to “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket. Save it for a rainy day. Catch a falling star and never let it fade away. No matter what …”. I don’t recall the rest of it, but it was a catchy little tune that had a way of lifting one’s spirits on a dreary day. Again, the magic of stars! If any of my readers can complete that last phrase, I would appreciate hearing from you.
A young lady whom I have known since the day she was born was once asked to write a personal piece of writing for a university science class. She is a very important part of my life, shares my last name, and lives with me in our home. Her writing is as good as her mother’s, but she is too busy teaching math to students these days to do much writing. Yes, she permits her students to use a calculator – “the one between your ears that God gave you.” I would like to share her science class writing project with you now.
I’ve heard what they say:
Stars are nothing more
than immense balls of gas
They shimmer for a while
and then they are gone as the gas
slowly burns to extinction.
Stars are what we see
after the sun goes to sleep
and the moon comes out to play.
But when I look up, I see …
CHANDELIERS hanging in a majestic ballroom,
lighting the way for the planets
as they dance in their orbits.
CAMPFIRES of the ones
gone on before.
GUIDES which lead you safely home
when you seem to lose your way.
LULLABY CHARACTERS peering mysteriously
down from the sky.
Stars link two hearts
torn apart by the miles.
Stars are God’s way
of reminding me
He is always near.
But the most beautiful of all:
Stars are the sparkle
in a baby’s eyes
who will one day exclaim,
“Daddy … fireflies!”