Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Lately, at night when I have the dogs outside for the pre-bed bathroom break I have been taking a moment to look up at the sky and just breathing it in. I love the winter sky on a clear night. The stars look like I could reach up and touch them. I love being able to spot Orion’s belt and just letting the moment seep into me. In our family folklore we tell the kids that when someone dies they become a star looking down on us. So, if you need a visit, you just have to look up into the sky. I tell myself that the first star I see at night is my Grandpa looking down on me. I get to say a quick hello and then, even though I am not religious, I thank God for the night.

Even last night, with the sky covered in clouds and the snow coming down, I was able to remember back to earlier nights just like that. Where it’s not really that cold, and you can feel the snowflakes melting on your cheeks and eyelashes only on those nights I would have been a kid tobogganing or skating. Instead, I was chasing the pups around in the snow.

These are moments that fill me up and give me a simple joy. But, they are also moments that make me sad. I want to be able to point to the sky and say to my child, “see that star up there, that’s your Great Grandpa. Look quick because when he twinkles he’s saying hello.” I want to make new memories of playing in the snow with my children and hearing their laughter echo through the snowfall.

Edited to answer a couple questions:

Val asked if my dogs like snow... the quick answer is Yes, the pups love the snow. They dig their noses in it and roll around in it and generally act like pigs in sh*t.

And, Lost in Space asked if we see the stars like she did in Death Valley. I guess what we'd see is somewhere in between. I'm in Toronto - which has about 2.5 million people in the city, it is part of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) which is the city and its surrounding area which has a population of 5.5 million. Lots of highrises and lights here too. I live about a 20 minute drive from downtown and I guess far enough that I can see some stars, but I have never seen the milky way unless I've been up in cottage country far away from the city lights.


Valery said...

I know...
Even without that family folklore I feel a special connection with Orion.
Does your puppy like the snow?

Fran said...

One day you will my friend. One day. And your chance for that day to be closes is only a couple of months away. You know I'm thinking of you. Fran

Mad Hatter said...

It all sounds beautiful, Sweet G...keep visualizing it and seeing yourself with your child. We must be hopeful (or so I'm told).

Lost in Space said...

What a sweet post. I have hope that you will live that dream one day soon and share that story with your child right before you chase him/her all around the yard.

I love love love staring at the stars. It's pretty sucky viewing in LA with all the overhead lights, but I was in Death Valley a few weeks ago and the stars were incredible with a clear view of the milky way. We just laid on the ground staring at them for a really long time every night. I suspect this is what you see all the time?

maxandzuzu said...

I know what you mean. I've always loved star gazing. I even bought a chart with all of the constellations. Only problem is that it is hard to look at the chart when it's pitch-black out. You need a flash light. Imagine holding both at the same time and trying to look at the sky! I used to be able to see the stars where we used to live. I remember watching a rare meteor shower at 4am one chilly Nov. several years ago. It was incredible. We can't see the stars much were we live now...too many city lights.

Don't give up, that baby will come someday.