Culture | Environmentalism | Stargazing

Seeing Stars

“The stars, that nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps with everlasting oil, give due light to the misled and lonely traveller.” – John Milton

One side effect of the wildfires in the West are the clouds of wispy smoke high up in the atmosphere turning the days an overcast grey. At night the stars are obscured by this wispy smoke, the remnants of trees and homes and life disrupted 3000 miles away masking the stars above us. I’m reminded of how much I measure the night by the stars above. Companions lost in the haze. I believe that if this doesn’t convince people of climate change what will? But the stars aren’t the only ones lost in the haze. I’m often surprised at what people will believe, but the larger tragedy is what people will make people believe to raise their own status. Even at the cost of the quality of life for all current and future inhabitants of this planet.

“Little by little,
You will turn into stars.”
– Hafiz, Skinning Your Knees on God

We’re all connected beings on this planet, and we’re all connected matter in the universe. The universe is part of us, and someday we’ll once again be a part of it. We’re all swimming about in this dance of energy and light and Faith. This interconnectedness is lost on too many people concerned more about us versus them. What impacts the west coast impacts the east coast in another way. Borders are manmade creations that betray the interconnectedness of all of us. These are the rules we’ve established in this game, but the universe knows that it’s all just a game.

That hazy smoke above is matter that was once energy in the form of trees and grass and wildlife. Eventually the fires will burn out and the skies will clear again. The stars will come out and shine brightly. The universe is constantly in motion and will reset once more. The smoky remains of forests and lives forever altered will eventually be absorbed and convert to fuel and substance and energy once more. Will we remember the fires and the hazy days? Will we make meaningful change while there’s still time? The universe doesn’t care, but we should.

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