The winds, the stars, and the skies though wrought
By the heavenly King yet know it not;
And man who moves in the twilight dim
Feels not the love that encircles him,
Though in heart, on bosom, and eyelids press
Lips of an infinite tenderness,
He turns away through the dark to roam
Nor heeds the fire in his hearth and home.
– Unconscious, A.E. Russell
“Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them,” God told Abraham, having taken him outside his tent. It was on their inestimable numbers that He premised His vow of offspring.
Psalm 147 tells us God determines their numbers and calls them by name. 1 Corinthians, that star differs from star in glory. Psalm 8 tells us God set them in place, and they are cause to ask what is man that God is mindful of him?
The scientists tell us that, at our best, you and I can only see around three thousand stars in the night sky. I was never very good at the constellations. However old they are, I find stars attractive enough without arbitrarily assigning shape or beast to them. The picture you see above is my own doing, captured under the whispered awe of an open sky far from city lights. And standing alone peering into that impenetrable window of glory stands your Beren. To peer out from the edge of the planet, one step closer to slipping its bonds, to gaze momentarily through the lens into the first heaven…it was an unforgettable night. Those are so rare without you.
There have been nights and mornings and afternoons where I have wished you present, not for my sake, but for yours. We are due for strong heat, but the weather here has been an ecstasy, and the evenings are cool and clear. You’re missing so many experiences. I would be gladder to know you have experienced them somehow, even if not with me.
If I have to be alone, I am very glad I am alone with myself. I like being with myself well enough but this is getting ridiculous.
I don’t wish desperation on you. But I think you’ll have needed to have a little of the same hunger in your heart and poetry in your mind in longing for us to meet. If you have made yourself as content as possible, feathering the prison cell of your solitude to mask its barren walls and bars, how unequal it would be!
Some nights we will talk, even when we don’t have anything to say. When we’re together, that whole dynamic will change. When you merge heart and soul, essence of being and existence with another human, of different thought, word and movement, you can’t help but change.
Some nights I have to be reminded that you will love me, too.
I never dream about you. Isn’t that strange?
I’ve been praying for you all this time, but I’m beginning to ask myself why? I rarely find anyone who seems of great depth or an intriguing mind, of a unique soul or empathetic heart. There’s no one to say “oh, that must be lonely” or, as the one girl once unexpectedly asked me, “how’s your heart?”
The Professor disagrees, insisting I need to find someone younger (before they had a chance to surrender their virtue) and/or someone to be barefoot and pregnant. I have told him that willingness to be a wife and mother is a necessary condition in a partner, but not a sufficient one. That is, a woman (you) must needs be more.
I’m beginning once again to entertain the prospect of suspending any active searching. I’ve not done a good job up to this point, and the Lord has lately proven that He can coordinate things down to the smallest detail simply to give me a blessing unrequested. Maybe He just wants me to stop trying. Maybe it’s like trying to abuse Murphy’s Law…you can’t give up in name only just to find what you haven’t found.
Somehow I still think we’ll swoop into each other’s lives unexpectedly but gently, and startled as each recognizes the long-sought features in a stranger ‘s face. Maybe we won’t feel like strangers for long. We have to be for each other somehow refreshingly unique and different, but familiar and comforting at the same time; not a new landscape, but a new sun on which it rises.
Look up to the stars at night, Darling. Each is a thought or a song or prayer for you.