“Whether I’m looking at a human hand or looking at the galaxies of shooting stars or the flight of a bird…something marvelous is going on and I’m part of it. We’re all part of it!” ~ Harold Feinstein
Writer Diane Ackerman says that when the sun goes down, so does the veil that keeps us ignorant (or forgetful) of our true origin: the cosmos. Nothing sparks wonder (both our awe and curiosity) like staring up at that twinkling infinity and pondering the startling fact of our existence.
Invitation for Practice
Invite yourself to stay up later or get up earlier than you normally might to behold the night sky. Stand, sit, or lie down somewhere quiet where you can comfortably gaze up and into the sky above. If you’re unable to view the night sky, you might visualize it, perhaps inspired by a memory or a picture. Take a few soft breaths and connect with the cosmos that holds our precious planet. What do you notice — inside of you and above you? You could experiment with identifying stars, planets, and constellations with the help of a book or an app. What arises for you when you take in the vastness of the universe to which we belong? You might read Rebecca Elson’s poem “Antidotes to Fear and Death” for additional inspiration.
We invite you to share your reflections in the space below the author bio.
Enjoy the full seven-day Nourishing Our Nature practice.
Fabiana Fondevila is a writer and teacher from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her latest book, “Where Wonder Lives: Practices for Cultivating the Sacred in Your Daily Life” was published in February 2021. Fabiana teaches online workshops and seminars on living a life of awe and radical aliveness. You can learn more about her offerings at FabianaFondevila.com. She is also a founding member of Vivir Agradecidos, our organizational partner in Argentina.
Image by Eidy Bambang Sunaryo/Unsplash
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The moon was so full and bright last night. It was like a big spotlight. At our new home we have a lot of tree cover. The yard is so dark, even with the full moon, there were a spattering of stars. What a gift.
Gazing at the beautiful luminous moon this evening!
I went out to the corn field next to my property, hundreds of acres, and watched the stars and planets peek through the clouds. Horizon to horizon. Remembered my place in the universe.
as a child, my father would often take my brother and I out into the evenings to lie on the grass and look at the constellations. He knew them all and would so poignantly try to allow me to see what he saw.
As a young boy I discovered my sense of wonder when gazing at pinprick stars peeping through a night sky, bringing my first glimpses of infinity. Wonder comes naturally to children and, if I found myself awake in the night, I often tiptoed out of bed to see if stars were waiting for me outside my window. For most of my adult life I neglected my sense of wonder but now, in my vintage years, it’s the most precious of all my senses. More than 60 years after my earliest childhood glimpses of twinkling skies I’ve joyfully returned to the night-time practice of tiptoeing out of bed in search of starlight. Astronomers say there are more stars in our solar system than there are grains of sand on all the beaches in the world.
I too remember the feeling of wonder I had as a child – looking up at the night sky. I too am in my vintage years, and I need to once more allow the child within to feel the awe.
That’s beautiful, Christopher! How lovely that you found your way back to the stars!