Posted on June 22, 2010
Despite its abundant natural beauty, there is one fame that Vancouver cannot claim. Only on very rare occasions do I find myself staring at the night sky and see stars winking back at me. It’s a luxury afforded only by those whose homes are on further reaches.
There are two things I do every single time I leave Vancouver and visit Vancouver Island. The first I accomplish the very moment I step off the ferry: breathe. Unspoiled air tinged with sea salt and pine fills my lungs.
The second happens at night. I step outside and take in the spectacle of stars, gold dust scattered across royal velvet. They shine brightly, they twinkle and they are quiet. It’s visions like those that seem to be created just for me in that moment.
Photo: Supernumerario on Flickr
Not long ago, I found myself on an airplane. I was caught at a point between Pacific time and Eastern time, somewhere between sunset and sunrise. The sound of the plane’s engine had reached a humming plateau, the cabin lights were low and apart from the crew, it seemed that I was the only one still awake. Leaning my head in the crook of the tiny cabin window, my eyes were met with a mirror image.
The stars scattered across the molasses-coloured canvas were reflected against gently flickering lights from tiny towns of the mid-west below. Waukesha, Warsaw and Warren were still fast asleep. With nothing but darkness to see, I closed my eyes for what felt like only a moment or two. It could have been more, it could have been less, but I was unprepared for what was painted before me.
Without warning, tomorrow’s sun showed its face, ripping across the horizon and flooding the indigo sky in screaming reds and oranges. The glimmering stars had not moved, pinned against the dome of night. What I saw was a battle of beauty that no one but the Creator could create. In a few minutes the sun would rise higher and the stars would disappear one at a time. But as I sat, silently suspended in the middle of that masterpiece, there was only one thing that I knew for certain. What is real and true is never very far, but the onus is always on me to press pause and open my eyes to see it.