One Among Billions

Dear Friends,

My Atlanta big city life
makes it impossible to see the Milky Way at night –
that dim glowing band of stars and planets that contains us
and stretches around and beyond us.

But earlier this week,
on a clear, cold North Carolina night,
high on a mountaintop and away from the electric noise
of florescence, incandescence and neon-escence,
I got an amazing view.

From the porch below, I tilted my head back
and there it was –
arching wide and softly overhead,
a thin, white haze of countless celestial bodies.

One by one, the stars in that vast spiral add up:
300 billion in all.
In this vast spiral of life and living,
I, too, am just one among billions.
And, I have one heavenly moment to glow.

So, how will I shine?
How will you shine?
What light will we leave to streak with bright brilliance
across the skies of future generations?
How will we add to the thin, white cloud of all life that contains us
and stretches around and beyond us?

Let’s begin by eliminating the electric noise –
the worries, the distractions,
the busy-escence.

Let us stand in the cold, clear night of our soul,
tilt our head back,
and see deep within.

And, when we do,
may we find the billions of stars that wait for us there –
the stars of love and peace and connection,
of strength and courage and contribution.

May their light shine in us and through us,
every day and in every word and deed,
leaving behind
a bright and brilliant streak.