I remember laying in the grass with deep darkness painting the sky. Millions and trillions of lights stud the canopy. I oriented the heaven’s guidebook above my head and located Ursa Major. There I identify the Big Dipper. Using the bowl’s pointer stars, I trace their alignment to the North Star, Polaris, at the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. It is a pulsing yellow supergiant, and while its intensity varies, I can locate its position with ease.
Letting the stars point me in the right direction, I turn to find Cassiopeia, Perseus, Pegasus, Lyra, Hercules, and Draco snaking its way between the bears. The fall and winter skies are my favorite. Orion hunts just outside my bedroom window. He and his dogs Canis Major and Canis Minor, stand guard keeping me safe. Now I live in a large metropolitan region, where bright light obstructs the view of celestial objects. I sense their presence even if I rarely see them. I have lost the lesser-known stars as they fade, masked by the glare.
Tonight, I wonder if my inability to see every star in the sky limits my options and prevents me from seeing the whole array of opportunities. Do the limited choices force me to choose? Compel me to act? Light pollution has blotted out dim alternatives, and the pool of possibilities is smaller. Orion’s call is constant, and it gives me strength. I know he has my back. He protects me, guarding me, as I ignore everything else and focus on my North Star. When morning sunlight streams through my window, my path forward is unmistakable.
Are you following your true North?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer