We Are Stardust

In 2012 I went on an interprovincial adventure with some pretty fabulous women. We stayed at a bed-and-breakfast where we slept in glammed-up sheep wagons. We toured the local terrain, a vineyard, a forest and a desert. Not to be done in by nightfall we went to a dark sky preserve in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park where an astronomer spoke to us about the stars. She said a lot of things on the warm and quiet autumn night, in the clearing of the forest. We were next to the observatory looking up, a small and curious crowd.

Have you ever seen the sky at night when there is absolutely no light pollution? You should. It’s breathtaking. This is not an understatement. And all my words cannot do the infinite gorgeousness of that kind of sky justice.

The astronomer pointed to a star and said “one day our nearest star, the Sun, will explode and we will become stardust. We are made up of that matter. We started from stardust and to stardust, we will go.” No one spoke. I don’t even think anyone moved. I sure didn’t, under that blanket of a billion twinkling freckles of the universe. I never thought of what we are made of but the idea that I am made of stardust gave me goosebumps in the way that I get goosebumps when someone speaks a truth.

That was ten years ago.

Today

Today I reposted from Ravenous Butterflies “We have calcium in our bones, iron in our veins, carbon in our souls, and nitrogen in our brains. 93 percent stardust, with souls made of flames, we are all just stars that have people names.” ~Nikita Gill

The illustration attached to this quote is by Namiki Hajime – Night of Stars and Comets, 2005.

More twinkles

Every thought is like a twinkle. A friend saw this post and replied: That quote reminds me of a dialogue from a sci-fi TV series from the 90’s that I loved—Babylon 5 “Then I will tell you a great secret, Captain. Perhaps the greatest of all time. The molecules of your body are the same as the molecules that make up this station and the nebula outside, that burn inside the stars themselves. We are starstuff. We are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out. As we have both learned, sometimes the universe requires a change of perspective.” I was so grateful she commented—shared her connection to the concept of stardust.

I have always felt this idea. I didn’t know it but there was an unexplainable feeling inside me (probably stardust, still burning a little) that caused me to look up when I was little—staring at the stars with no real understanding of what I was looking at. I just felt connected. I still do. Kid me. Middle-aged me—I keep looking up. I’ll keep looking up. I don’t know what I’m looking for exactly but the sky—in the most stupendously ironic statement—grounds me.

As we approach Winter Solstice (December 21st), the longest night of the year, there is the opportunity, not to begrudge the dark but to appreciate what we get to see in the sky while the night is with us a little longer.

Swoon

These words of the astronomer, the writers of the show Babylon 5, and Nikita Gill make me swoon, remind me of the thing I sort of knew all along, that I am a speck, but a twinkling and significant speck nonetheless. That I am magical, and well, we all are.

Photo Credits: Not to be Forgotten

With gratitude I was granted permission by Lorne Bear of Bear Imaging to use the photo in my blog post. Taken near Prince Albert on December 1st, I feel it captures our winter sky. If you’d like to see more of his work, click on his name.

Thank you Mr. Bear for your generosity.

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