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Stars by God

I’m down in Perry county for two days, in the house on Bunker Hill Standing Rock Road. I’m working, writing, reading, taking pictures. Sporadically, two or three times as evening came on, I stepped outside to check the weather. Now it’s all the way dark and I step out again, barefooted, gingerly leaning out in order to see beyond the porch roof. I see a patch of stars. It’s only about one-tenth of one percent of the sky, but still it wows me when I see it. It’s full of stars.

I step two steps down the concrete stairs and from there I get a much larger view. Probably one-half of one percent of the sky. It’s full of stars—plus I can see a very dim cloudy milky area. Wow, that’s my galaxy.

It’s cool out tonight. Below seventy already and it’s not even ten o’clock yet. Maybe this really is the cool front they were talking about. I step back up the two steps and walk to the front part of the porch. (I don’t go out on the grass now because I don’t want to have to inspect myself for ticks again tonight.)

I grab one of the porch posts and lean out, looking up at an unbelieveably full expanse of stars. There are a lot of dim ones and a few brighter ones. And there is Venus, the evening star—just hanging there—not twinkling, just glowing. It’s a planet, a wanderer, but for me it is steadfast because it is always there when I look for it.

The country around here is so dark and the sky is so full of stars. You don’t see nearly this many stars in the city. Even on Berry’s Chapel Road where our in-town home is, what with no street lights and close cow pastures, we can’t see this many stars. But there they are, just where I left them last time I saw this many of them at once. And here is God, just where I left Him last time I noticed him—last time I was so sure He was here.