Twenty five years ago on a night like this I would be dropped off at the Zimmerman’s farm not knowing if my friend was already out there or not. I carried an army duffel with a sleeping bag, a few cans of food, a knife and some matches. Each Friday it was assumed that we would both be there, and we always were, although often a few hours apart.
Looking back, those hours apart were some of the best. I would sometimes lay on the train tracks looking up at the stars, daring myself to fall asleep there. Every sound could have scared me if I would have let it. It was pitch black in the middle of nowhere. I thought about my future, was amazed at creation, prayed with faith, and in those times, there was no doubt of God and his goodness.
I spent so many hours just looking up at the moon and stars. No one ever taught me that the North Star stayed in the same place and that all the constellations rotated around it. I just watched it enough to know. I knew where and when to find Orion, Cassiopeia, Ursa Major and Minor and more. A familiar Three Amigos whistle or a “Hey Jay. Are you out here?” would bring me back to reality.
It has been a while since I have had alone time like that to just look up. I would feel selfish to take it. There are so many needs that I am currently not meeting. The closest I get to “alone” is driving around everyday in my car for work. That is not really alone, and I’m certainly not looking up. Instead, each minute is filled with communication or planning the next part of the day.
A friend graciously ordered pizza for us tonight. When they offered earlier this week, we didn’t realize how bad we would need the help. It was a huge blessing. For the first time in a while, Tara felt terrible today. It could be the effects of the chemo, 72 hours later. Or it could be that she had her belly drained today, which sometimes upsets her stomach. Most likely a combination. We are hopeful that a good rest will fix it.
I have tucked the two youngest kids in bed and prayed with them. Andrean and Esther are still with friends and will be home soon. Micalyn is getting ready for bed. Tara, asleep. I am alone. Will I go outside and look up? I’ll let you know.