It was always in the summer. The hot, damp day would end and, after the sun had long set, I would walk. The road was empty and quiet and the woods rose on either side until I reached the cornfields. I would look up and see that for my entire walk the stars had been following me. I was moving but it seemed like they were standing still. Like bright anchors waiting in their hazy galactic film. Waiting there just for me. I knew I was supposed to make wishes but the specifics weren’t clear. Looking back now, I would have wished that the calm of those moments could last forever. The clarity of starlight in that dark sky made me wonder what else mattered. I moved on and I grew up. I left the quiet countryside and moved to the city. What once seemed so simple has been revealed as much more complex. The distance between me and the stars hasn’t changed but from here they feel so faint and strained. They seem exhausted from the effort of trying to catch my attention. And yet, I am now so full of wishes.
- Jessica Phillips, 2020