I'm wearing three shirts beneath my winter coat. I'm also donning three pairs of pants (which says a lot for someone who so adamantly hates pants). I've easily gained ten pounds in clothing alone. Yet, my outfit isn't complete without my mittens and my knit hat. I carry out an outdoor mat and a lawn chair. I sit. I wait. My eyes adjust to the darkness.
One star, then ten, now a hundred. Next, I lose count. I've never seen so many stars.
Overhead, there's a dust cloud beginning to appear in the sky. It spans from the north to south horizons. That's the Milky Way. Right over my head, there it is, staring right back at me.
I had seen it once before... but this time it was much different. This time, I was different. I sat in admiration, thinking about how utterly small and insignificant all of life is. Yet, at the same time, my life does carry meaning, a small one, but something nonetheless. For me, that's enough. It has to be.
When I look up at the stars, and I consider that those stars are made of the same elements that course through my blood stream, life seems to be a lot more extraordinary.
As I sat in the darkness, I listened to the conversations around me. People chattered about random things, the park ranger cracked jokes, and the air was filled with laughter. For the most part, I sat silently staring upwards in admiration.
Then someone said, "Is something going to happen already?" and I let out an audible chuckle.
Something is happening, I thought. They just couldn't see it. It was everywhere. We were surrounded by it.
So, stop right now and count your blessings, each and every one of them.
And then stop to take a deep breath. Do you feel your lungs expanding with air as you inhale? Now consider the fact that you are just as remarkable and unique as the stars that hang above us every single night.