Thinking of stars

I am one of those annoying people (annoying to someone asleep alongside you, that is,) who invariably wakes early. I've been inclined this way all my life but waking early has become really cemented in since I buckled down to the hard yards of writing fiction. 03.45 is my get up time when so engaged. Anytime after 4.30 at present, when I am doing different things like designing calendars.

For me there is, unfortunately, little or no doze time. I wake, my mind seems already to be several gears into fast forward, my feet just have to hit the floor. The world, my world, is calling. Dressing gown on, move as quietly as possible downstairs so as not to wake either she who sleeps or one of our pair of Hungarians (ancient vizsla dogs, in case you are wondering, but small chance as they are both profoundly deaf), computer and kettle on, all in that order.

But not today. I woke looking up. Directly above the head of our bed is a roof window. One of the benefits of living without the obscuring glow of sodium lights is that, when there is no cloud, you can see the stars. This morning there was no cloud and the stars seem never to have shone more brightly, nor perhaps sung with what, for thousands of years, was thought by our ancestors to be 'the music of the spheres'.

Now, I don't know by what names we have known each of the stars, or groups of stars. It doesn't matter. Just another of those chunks of knowledge missing from my personal CV. But that rectangle of shining, almost dazzling yellow pinpricks imprinted itself on my mind as for or many minutes I lay there transfixed. In thought, I travelled from where I was out into the wide world and out into the universe of which it and we are an infinitessimal part. Truly beautiful.

I don't know why it is beautiful. Why do we always ask why? It is as useful for us to seek to understand the secrets of the universe as for a thermometer to understand the colour of the sun or the life story of a soldier ant.

All any of us can really understand is beauty. For beauty is meaning and is understanding and is everything.

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