Some sixty years ago there were simple daytime adventures. I remember sun-dried cottons on blue Mondays, chasing/feeding cackling chickens, running barefoot over the warm smooth stones and pliant grasses in the late afternoons, and walking slowly back to the barn with lumbering cows full of milk to be drenched over our peaches at dinner time. And there was the magic of capturing lightning bugs in a glass jar and seeing the twinkling stars strewn across a velvety black, nighttime sky with my otherworldly cousins. These were parts of the magic and traditions experienced during annual visits to my maternal grandparents’ farm in rural Texas. As a city dweller elsewhere in the state, I am able to remember, recreate, or imagine the stars beyond the filtering/faltering atmosphere that few of this generation can attest. For them who have never experienced the referenced magic of actually seeing the constellation particles, it must be an exercise similar to capturing dust particles that dance on sunbeams or capturing the elusive coronavirus in a test tube. Light litters, pollutes, and diverts attention from the miraculous sky show. Just imagine other times, other skies, other worlds.
- Michelle Barnes, 2020