This past weekend I attended a workshop on gratitude and joy at Esalen Institute on the coast of California near Monterey. In the deep darkness, I looked up at the stars and felt awe and sadness as I noticed constellations I had long forgotten. It’d been several years since I’d seen them and I remembered how much I once loved them and loved space…knowing our world is much bigger and we much smaller than we usually acknowledge.
The stars, when I can see how numerous and bright they are, remind me to focus on what really matters…our connections to each other however far apart we are. We all love, we all suffer, and we all have the light of stars showing through, or beyond, the deep darkness above us. This weekend, I am grateful for the stars, the deep darkness that let me see them, and for the reminder that they have been there all along. For all of us.
P. S. James and Jane Baraz led the workshop. James is co-author of Awakening Joy (link is to his blog).