Star Light, Star Bright
Author: Darcie Sims
Did you ever wish upon a star? Did you ever stand outside, on a summer night and feel the soft darkness enfold you like black velvet, the gentle night breeze kissing your cheeks, the grass tickling your bare toes? Did you ever lie on your back, looking at the starry quilt tossed over the heavens? Did you ever see a shooting star and wonder where it came from and where it was going? Did you ever search for a special star and wish on it? Did you ever believe in wishes?
Life was simple then. Made up of day and night, light and dark, black and white, yes or no. There weren’t as many maybe’s then. There weren’t so many questions left unanswered or sentences left unfinished or songs never sung.
Love came easily in the summertime of my life. It was warm and gentle, nurtured by the never-ending sun’s light and blessed by a moon that always cast a silvery reflection on wherever I happened to be. Dreams came easily then and so did laughter. Can you remember those times in your life when the summers were without end, and you ran free with the wind?
We flew kites and launched balloons. We collected grasshoppers and chased fireflies. We tried to capture the raindrops and make the popsicles last a little longer. We tried to find the end of the rainbow, and once I even managed to stand in its light! I thought I was blessed. I had been touched by the rainbow’s hues!
Dreams came easily, too, and we were young and foolish and careless in the summertime of our life. We made dandelion crowns and wove daisy chains. We toasted in the summer sun, turning over and over, leaving tan lines and sun-streaked hair. It was everything we dreamed of, an endless wave, an endless river, an endless day only to be blessed even more by the gentle darkness of star-dusted summer nights.
Life was full and rich, although we were not. But we were filled with love and dreams and hope. We believed, then.
Joy came into our lives, just as it did into yours. And we thought our hearts would burst with the magic. We caught the sunlight and gave it a name. We fell in love with love. And love fell in love with us. It was a perfect time, at least in the dream place.
Everyone has had a dream place, even if you can’t remember it now. You once walked where angels trod, and their footprints left joy in your heart. We grew secure and content and settled into the porch swing to while away the summer nights. We played Kick-the-Can and held those fireflies in our hands, wondering how they glowed and flickered and flashed. Life once was whole and complete, and summertime seemed endless.
But then I learned you can’t catch a rainbow reflected on the wall and expect it to stay. You can’t hold a butterfly too tightly and set it free again. The dream came to pieces and we were shattered. No longer a dream, it became a nightmare and the sun grew cold and the music died. I no longer looked at the stars. There was no rainbow for me anymore. All the dreams were broken and the pieces were scattered.
It was a long time before I realized the sun still got up every day and so did I. It was a long time before I understood that while my life’s fabric had been damaged terribly, it was still being woven, even if the threads were twisted and broken. One day became one week, and then one month, and then one year, and now many years.
One night I again looked up into the heavens and discovered the stars were still there. And the moon was still there, too! Oh my, how long had it been since my spirit felt like dancing in the moonlight? Too long. Much too long. And now my bones ache sometimes. Sometimes my step is a bit slower and sometimes I can still feel the pain.
But I’ve begun to notice that the broken places have started to heal. The fabric is mending, perhaps with tiny stitches and a bit lumpy; but I am learning to weave again. And the stars are still shining. I guess they never stopped. I just stopped looking...
And now, as summer reigns again, I realize that many summers have come and gone, not just one. It’s been fall and winter and spring, too. Many times over. All without my direction, effort, or concern. Someone else turned the season’s wheel, and the days moved on and on. I hadn’t been in charge after all! Someone else’s hand had been holding mine all this time.
And now—when I dare—I can find my special star. There are more stars whose names I know and I find it comforting to know I am blanketed by a starry quilt made of love and memories.
I did get my wish! It just didn’t stay long enough. But I choose now to remember the light, not dwell in the darkness. Once I stood in the starlight and was granted happiness. Now there is a star for each miracle I have known.
Look skyward tonight and find your special star. And instead of embracing the emptiness, cherish the space that love always fills. We didn’t lose the love just because the light went out on this earthly plane.
No light that was born in love can ever be extinguished.
Star light, Star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Remember the love
And hold the light.
Twinkle, twinkle, Little star,
Now I know
Just who you are!
By Darcie D. Sims, PhD, CHT, CT, GMS: Dr. Darcie Sims is a bereaved parent and child, nationally certified thanatologist, certified pastoral bereavement specialist, and licensed psychotherapist and hypnotherapist. She is the president and cofounder of Grief, Inc., a grief consulting business, and the Director of the American Grief Academy in Seattle, Washington. Darcie is an internationally recognized speaker and writer, having authored seven books and numerous articles. She currently serves as the Director of Training and Certification for TAPS. For more information and a complete listing of her books, visit www.griefinc.com.