|Photo via Flickr by Kristin Jona|
So many years ago that it felt like a dream, I had watched the first star fall and mourned it's precipitous descent. I held it in my hands, cradling that dying dream. And then I laid it to rest beneath the protective limbs of a tree; on a hill where it could still see the sky. I didn't want it to feel as alone as I felt.
As I lived through some dark times the stars kept falling. I stopped noticing their fall. It somehow felt natural now that the light would slowly be extinguished and the dreams would fade. The blackness felt inevitable. The time when the sky was full of stars and the world still had a hopeful light was so far away it felt like I'd imagined it in dreams of a better time that never was. A time that could never be again.
|Photo via Flickr by Stephen Rahn|
How long have I occupied this lonely hill with my fallen dreams alone? Who can say? I sit here in the dark, keeping my sorrowful, personal vigil. I no longer mourn the stars sprinkled around my feet. I thought it was only a matter of time til they fell. I was so wrapped up in the emotion of the darkness that I didn't stop to ask why they were falling; all I knew was that I couldn't stop it. My despair was as large as the sky, crushing and endless.
Then, suddenly, the night was different. I realized in a moment that I wasn't as alone as I thought. The warmth of friendship can be as shocking and illuminating as summer lightning. A figure in the darkness, a friend, stopped and sat with me to share my dark inner vigil. I was not surprised by their presence but I hadn't expected them to stop and sit with me in the dark.
Without so much as a word they glanced at the sky and then down at the piles of fallen stars. I felt their sadness at the state of my night sky. Seeing it through their eyes I could now see how empty and dark the sky felt with its bright dreams lacking. I had no words to offer back to them about the state of things. I had only silence and pain to offer.
|Photo via Flickr by Martin Fisch|
"But, they are dark, they have lost their fire" I said.
"So, we will light them again."
"How will we do that?" I asked with a doubtful hope beginning to flicker in my chest.
"With love" they said and they reached out.
I held out an upturned hand to them. Gently, into my palm, they placed a single dark star.
I looked down at one lonely broken dream and it felt heavier and heavier in my hand. I cradled it with both hands crying. Gently they added their hands to mine to help still their shaking. When I finished mourning the brokenness of my dream they closed my fingers around the star and added their hands around mine. With four hands supporting my dream they said with the firmest gentleness "With love" and together with hearts open we re-lit my dream.
|Original photo via Flickr by Leland Francisco|
Tears now sparkled with light as they helped me release my rekindled dream into the sky. It floated higher and higher until it joined it's few remaining star brethren and made them just a little bit brighter again. And with the joy that followed, the love, friendship and hope flowed out of my heart and re-lit all the stars at my feet.
|Photo via Flickr by Nic Redhead|
As suddenly as my first star had fallen I was relighting my dreams and we were throwing them back up into the sky. Lanterns lit with love and hope they floated upwards. Being surrounded by brightly lit dreams is beautiful and magical.
|Photo via Flickr by Jirka Matousek|
With stars streaming upwards around us, I looked at my friend. They smiled, "You deserve it," they said.
I smiled, my heart as bright as the stars.
We painted the night with dreams and light.
|Photo via Flickr by Judy Schmidt|
|Photo via Flickr by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center|
Words rarely express the depths of emotion we want them to. This is my attempt to express some of my gratefulness to those who have walked beside me through the dark.
I wouldn't be here without you. You have helped light my darkness.
I hope that I can be even a small source of light for you in return.
My dreams are as vast as the sky, bright and limitless.
|Photo via Flickr by Alessandro Caproni|