I don't believe in God, at least not the God of organized religion. Not the Jewish one or the Christian one or the Muslim one. And I don't believe in the widely embraced beliefs of heaven, hell or Satan. What I do believe in is the beautiful interconnectedness of everything in the universe—the planets and stars, the rocks, the animals—and how we are all a part of it and will rejoin it in an elemental way when we die, when we become, again, stardust. These feelings I have for the sun and the moon and the far off galaxies and the pull they have on me, this wishing on stars I sometimes do, is powerful spirituality. My energy will not be lost when I die. It will live on in the memory of those whom I have touched and in the soil and sea where my ashes will scatter. I will become earth and sky and wind and river and sea and universe all at once.
But when a friend tells me that they pray for me, I understand. And when someone whom I've never met offers me this kind of solace on a difficult day, in a manner in which I feel deep within my bones, I melt into her words and heal just a little bit. In reading this you can see why:
each day when I light my candles I say the names of your family aloud, with the others I choose to remember in this daily way, and I pray for peace and healing and love for you all and I carry a ruby for grief and an obsidian for comfort and a tiny icon of mother and child and a small wooden angel and some other things which i carry in my pockets and find in my hands several times a day and though it is the way of a child to hold to such talismans i allow myself this touching home, these miracles of the universe, and i reach for my mother and father, and my grandparents, and dear friends i have lost and for my own lost self and for all those who struggle and all those in pain and like a child i wish on stars and hold my stones which once were stars and i feel the love of the universe and send some to you and to your small miracle and trust it reaches your family in some way, like sunlight on a cheek, like sea mist, like hope, like yes, like moonlight, like a small bird shaking her feathers, like a shadow of a tree bending just slightly in morning air, like bending on one knee, on both knees, like bending the head with hands forward pointing from my heart to yours
I, too, send my deepest gratitude and love to you, Elizabeth, and to the rest of you, brilliant stars, who have lifted me up—and continue to do so—and fill my heart, dry my tears, touch my spirit and who send your love. You make my world, my universe, a better place to be, a place where I can believe in the power of wishing on stars.
|photo by Michael Kolster|