As a child, I would ask Mam or Dad how much they loved me. Their answer would always be, ” I love you, all the stars in the sky.” I loved looking at the stars and found it hard to grasp how far light travels and that, at times, I was seeing the light of stars that had extinguished long before. So one or other would carry me out as a child to look at the stars and dad,a navigator, explained that it was the stars that helped him plot the way home.
In Lindau on the Allgau over looking The Lake of Constance, I lay beneath pine trees watching jets thread their ways through stars and constellations. I’ve been known to wrap myself in quilts and lie on the trampoline with Jack, the dog, and just stare.
Last night, I let the dogs out, and stood looking. The plough was in its usual place above the hedge, Orion gleamed over the house next door. It must be something to do with this beautiful, dry, clear, weather but there was a faint glimpse of the milky way overhead – a thread of stars so fine and cloudy.
At 5 am I let the dogs out again and I saw clearly how the stars had shifted over night. I’m unsure what this means but I was left with a certainty that earth had shifted, that the same patterns and constellations were in a new position. No biggie, but just that, as old certainties, gods and deities are left behind, new certainties take their place, only to become uncertainities.
Old patterns in new configurations. But if, as they said, Dad and Mam loved me, “All the stars in the sky”, surely, there is something eternal at the heart of the shifting patterns and configurations of our lives.