The jewel of the summer night sky appears first as an apparition. The river of light is so faint that to look directly at it makes it even more difficult to see. It plays tricks with your eyes. Yet finally, after the sun has been gone for a few hours, and darkness is complete, the Milky Way shines like a cloud of diamonds.
How beautiful to see the presence of our own galaxy floating weightless against the void of our deep, dark Universe. Our home in a galaxy spinning into a multi-armed spiral, a disc accentuated with the ethereal glow of dust, gases, planets, and well over 100 billion stars.
Sitting on a sandstone perch deep in the interior of Arches National Park, I listened to the sounds of the evening settling in. As slowly as it takes the eye to see the Milky Way in the beginning of the night, it seems equally challenging to our human patience to follow its movement up from the horizon as it gracefully bends overhead, traveling into the night.
Delicate Arch stands as testament to pure time. Visualizing the slow movement of geologic forces, the formation of an erosional remnant into a freestanding arch inspires the mind to ponder. We move so quickly in our human time here on Earth. If luck and good health follow us we can hope for a handful of decades to explore this experience called Life.
The heavens are where the angels live and play, they say. I believe in miracles and magic and forces beyond my ability to comprehend. But how can I truly imagine or much less understand the patience, power, and magnitude of something as grand as universal intelligence, the oneness of all life, the energy of the Great Mystery?
Let the heavens sing with every breath we draw, Hallelujah.