Tag Archives: stars

Reason to Fly

I enjoyed taking the trash out to the end of the driveway today because it felt like spring. There was not a cloud in the sky. I placed the garbage and recycling totes at the end of our driveway and then just stood there enjoying the beginning of a nice day.

I noticed the moon was visible, then a plane that was approaching the moon. I took a picture of the moment.

When I first saw the plane, I thought it would be cool if the plane would fly across the moon. It would make for a fun picture. As I watched, it became obvious that the plane would miss the moon. I found that sad for a second. Then this classic quote came to mind;

As I watched the plane, getting ready to take the picture, I thought how wonderful the view must be from the plane. I started to think about my own goals, about being a writer, about being a poet. I have never made it to the moon, but the view has been breathtaking. 

Crazy dreams are worth chasing. They allow us to fly, to rise above the routine of living. Crazy goals give us a chance to see our life from a different view. Chasing a dream is a ticket to a different understanding ourselves. Reaching for a dream as far away as the moon keeps our eyes and hearts up. That airplane was not going to reach the moon, but it was a beautiful morning to fly.

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I took out the trash today.

I took out the trash today.

I filled my daughters’ water bottles. I made one lunch. I started the dishwasher. I had my one cup of coffee. My morning routine is predictable. There are activities I do every morning, like spend a few minutes in meditation. Other activities happen as needed, like making lunches for my daughters.

Today, I took out the trash.

Let me back up to the start of the day. My alarm went off at 4:50. Groggy, I put my feet on the floor. I was already dreading the day. The health department set their COVID dial to Orange. The school routine would be amped up. Cleaning every period. More temperature checks. No visitors to the school. Let alone, the daily battle of wearing a mask. That’s all I will say about that situation.

A bad mood was brewing before I even started my coffee maker.

And it just got worse. Especially, when I had to fight the trash container to get the bag out. We have a cylinder trash can that creates a vacuum when the trash bag is too full. Fun times.

I wake my daughters at 5:55. Get them breakfast. We are usually ready to head to school at 6:30. This morning, we were actually a few minutes ahead of schedule. My mood was darkening, that’s when I took out the trash.

The clip above is from the movie Peaceful Warrior, which is based on the book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior.

I waited for the garage door to open so that I could put my bags in the truck of the minivan. After setting the bags in, I stepped out on to our driveway and took in the stars. I heard a side door open so I turned to see my second daughter waiting for the door to stop moving. I asked her to come see the stars, especially the constellation, Orion.

There we stood, father and daughter under a morning sky that was filled with wonder. I pointed out Mars and how it had a reddish shine. We found Venus, too. We circled looking at the different constellations. We heard the rest of the family getting situated into the van, but we stood there a few more seconds.

“Pretty cool, huh?” I said.

“Yeah, the stars are beautiful,” she said.

We smiled at each other, then got into the van to start the day.

My daughter helped me take out the trash today.

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More Stars

Last night my oldest daughter had pep band for a volleyball game. I had gotten the three younger girls to bed, so I headed out to the school to wait for my daughter. It was a clear, cool night so I opened the moonroof in the minivan.

I parked in the faculty parking lot. There was not much light pollution there, so I could see the night sky filled with stars. I turned off the minivan, leaned the seat back a little and just enjoyed the view. Without getting deeply personal, stargazing is a spiritual activity for me. As I enjoyed the moment, a thought shot across my mind… then my heart. I was looking at more stars than I had days left to watch them.

In a crazy moment of thought and feelings, I sat up. I actually got out of the van to get a better view of the sky, with that thought running through me. I was seeing more stars than days I had left.

I could tell the game had ended because people were exiting the building, walking toward their cars. I knew my daughter would soon be coming. She sprinted out of the doors looking for me. As she got into the van she noticed the moonroof was open. “Awesome!” she said.

She spent the ride home gazing up at the stars. She told me how much she loved the night sky. I didn’t share my insight. My daughter was in a joyous mood. She had every right to be.

I wish I could say my epiphany made today great, but it didn’t. I am actually in a somber mood, but not for the reason you might think.

What would a day look like? A classroom? A home? If we truly lived with the understanding that we have only so many days? How would we react if our personal night sky lost a star everyday… as our days dwindled… as our sky turned dark? Would we then choose love?  Would we then choose to pursue or dreams?

I know the idea is not new… but last night I realized that there are more stars in the sky than days I have to view them… I’m not going to miss any opportunities.

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Turning 40 “Life”

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This morning was a reminder of one of the aspects of life I’ve learned.  It started as one of those mornings. Trash and recycling need to be put out on the curb. Lunches needed to be made.  Diapers to daycare.  Movies to return. My oldest son overslept.  My youngest daughter didn’t want to be put down. It was time for me to start my commute and I was nowhere close to pouring my coffee into my travel mug.

I multi-task, carrying the last of the recycling, diapers under on arm, movies clutched in a few fingers to put in my wife’s car.  Both garage doors opening is an appropriate sound track to the morning, arrrrgrarrrarrr, clunk-clunk.

It is about 6:20 in the morning, dark, and my breath can be seen as the cold tickles my forearms.  It takes three trips to get the trash and recycling to the curb. The constellation Orion is above the southern horizon.  Mars is shining bright toward the east.  Beautiful. I take a few minutes to star gaze (I don’t know why, but stargazing is special for me).

In those few minutes the stars reminded me that life is beautiful.  No matter what is going on in life, “nothing dims these stars.”  I know that life can be hard. I know even in good times there can be a grimy feeling to life. Diamonds can collect filth on them.  But the shine is still there; the diamond will sparkle (like a star) with a little cleaning.

Minutes later as I was getting into my car, my sons came out to get into the minivan.  “Did you guys see the stars?” I asked.  We go out to the drive way and we stargaze together for a minute.  For a moment life hits me, in a single moment I feel the beauty of life so true that it almost crushes my heart.  There I stood with my two sons, in front of our new home, on the driveway that we play basketball.  Life can be hard. I know this. There is pain and disappointment, tragedy that can also crush a heart.

It takes work, it takes time, but no matter how filthy a diamond becomes, it still has its shine. “Nothing dims these stars.”

“Dad, there is a new Clone Wars on tonight!” Both boys head to the minivan chatting excitedly about the show tonight. I smile. Everyone has their own set of stars.  What allows you to know that life is beautiful?

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