09/04/2011 by Sarah Ritchie
“If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882)
Last weekend we were privileged to attend our friends’ wedding ceremony – held in a vineyard, in a small town outside of Auckland. The day was cloudless and the night still and fresh.
As we walked out to our car, I glanced up at the sky and was able to drink in the celestial display. We city-dwellers suffer greatly from “city lights syndrome”. City lights have their own incandescent splendour, but they do so spoil our view of the night sky. Even if we could see the stars – in all their beauty – it is likely we would still take them for granted.
Emerson (the famous American poet and lecturer) said it well. I can just picture the masses standing outside, pointing up at the sky, oo-ing and ah-ing and appreciating every pin prick of brightness. I remember when Halley’s Comet rolled around on 9 Febuary 1986. I lay on my back, in our garden, trying to spot this once-in-every-76 years phenomenon (but the cloud cover was too heavy and the comet was more like a fuzzy splodge!)…I do agree with Emerson’s observation.
It’s a lesson for us not to take the magnificence of our nightly light display for granted. The stars have been given to us as a gift – for navigation, exploration, beauty and as a testament to the awesomeness of our creator-God.