Many mornings we awaken before the sun has begun to illuminate the eastern sky. We turn our lights off after making ourselves café lattes and then walk over to the two-story windows in our living room, which give us a grand view of the stars, especially on a cloudless night with little moonlight. We note how some familiar constellations have tilted a bit farther over the western horizon since the previous night while others have arrived above us from the east. At the other end of the day, we turn our lights off and step outside our meditation room to see the nighttime stars, especially the vast expanse of the Milk Way, which stretches almost halfway across the sky. Sedona is a “Dark Night City,” so all businesses and homes with outdoor lights must use ones with limited brightness that only shine downward. As a result, the nighttime sky is filled with bright stars and a velvety blackness rather than the glow of city lights.
It would be easy to take this night sky for granted, and just go about our indoor life, yet we often feel drawn to stand in our living room and take in the night sky’s beauty, just as we enjoy the sunlit beauty of Sedona’s red rocks.
Reflecting on this way of experiencing the night sky has helped me become aware other aspects of my life that I can enjoy more consciously - such as playing with or snuggling with our cats, sitting on our front porch and enjoying the afternoon light, or listening to the sounds of onions sizzle as I cook. Each of these have their own beauty and aliveness, and I'm finding myself experiencing a sense of delight more and more in my everyday life.
As I was trying to articulate to my wife my experience of these experiences, the words wonder and gratitude came to me. These words arose spontaneously from deep within me, as if my heart could speak. To me, they carry an energy that feels much deeper than a simple thank you, matching something spiritual about the vast night sky here, especially when the Moon is present. As I reflected on these words and why I resonate with them, I realized that they seem to express a more living, heartfelt experience, as if my soul was expressing itself more than my mind.
Have you had an experience of connecting with nature in this deep way? If so, please share it in the comments section if you’re willing to. Perhaps reading this entry will encourage you to find your own divine moments in the night sky!
(Note: I’m not well equipped for night photography, so I posted a twilight photo with clouds that also awakens my sense of wonder.)