There is nothing like the clear, dry air of a moonless winter night for viewing the stars. Here in the woods we are blessed with a darkness not found near cities, towns or neighborhoods that allows the sky to fill with thousands of points of light. It never ceases to amaze. It is even more amazing that the light I see began it journey millions and sometime billions of years ago. It is a snapshot of a far distant past. Many of the stars I see tonight no longer exist and many new ones which I will never see have been created.
It is this dynamic of the birth and death of stars that permits me to contemplate the death and birth of stars and to marvel at the beauty of their canopy, for every atom in everything I know, including the hand I use to write these words, came from the violent death of a star. The sun that will greet me in the morning formed from the gases of a dying star. This remarkable planet we ride through space was born from the elements created in the furnace of a collapsing star and spun into a planet by the unseen forces of gravity. The components of life, itself, may have been hurled here on pieces of planets from long dead civilizations lost in the violent death of the star that once provided a nurturing heat, light and energy to spark their creation. I owe much, as do we all, to the little points of light shining down on this clear and moonless winter night.
Thank God for stars.