the hunter

The sky is so full of stars; complete. I have had to stand out in the garden for a few minutes even thought the cold is biting. I have had to witness this scene it is so perfect. The snow on the the roof tops, the black black sky, the bright bright stars – perfect. I have never seen anything like this before, even though living in the mountains, I have seen quite a few starry evenings. I stand out regularly and watch the International space station float overhead, that artificial meteorite that never falls. Tonight, Orion’s Belt is twinkling; I have never seen the stars twinkle like this. Sirius in his faithfulness, follows at Orion’s heels and positively shimmers. Red and blue and white light a diamond hanging there. He feels so close, I could, really could touch him. And the hunter moves to the right, his bow held aloft and quivering, Taurus fights back, azure jewels set on his head.

I could say that it is the density of the atmosphere that has created such a spectacle; the crisp and clear weather we have been having recently has been conducive to these boundless night skies but I can’t be satisfied with saying it is just a meteorological phenomenon; I want to look deeper. Framed by this low stage where two mountainsides give way to open sky – this is a scene set up by gods and goddesses; appearing to show us this story of the Hunt; the divine chase; the steady march across the sky these winter characters play every night after the sliver of moon has set herself down for the evening.  It has also come to tell us of my ancestors who sat out on a late February night exactly like this, around a fire on a mountainside, maybe telling stories to each other, playing instruments, singing songs, weaving a slow melancholic dance for the life that ebbs and flows in all of creation. This stellar chain is like a belt slung low on the hips of these dancers; pulsating to a divine rhythm; in homage to the draw of things we do not know and cannot comprehend. These people search out into the night sky for stories, songs and for the inspiration to move their bodies in mysterious and sacred ways.

Just like I am doing tonight.