I look to the stars whenever I need to relax. I look to them when everything else is changing and when I just don’t know what I am supposed to do. My whole life I have looked up to the grandness of the universe to see something beautiful. No matter what changes over time, I am always able to look up and know that they will be there, no matter what.
You were eighteen. Barely eighteen. Only in college a month or so, but so ready to take on the world.
Four pages on something you love.
That was what she assigned the class. You were excited. You lived for this, this chance to talk about what you loved. You were ready to go instantly.
You loved them. You still do. But still, it seems such a sophomoric idea. Before life became too busy to look into the grandness of space. Before the winters became too cold to spend time outdoors. Before you had so much on your mind that you began forgetting to look up, you young thing, you loved the stars.
You wrote of high school. Of friends that you haven’t seen in months and of places and homes that now belong to someone else. Someone else is crying on those rooftops, under the stars. Someone else is pulling over, seeing the night sky from the driver’s seat for the first time. Nervous kisses are transpiring in the shadows, goodbyes are being whispered, memories forged.
It is my first weekend at Champlain College, the first couple pages of the next chapter of my life. It’s cold but I can see the lights of Burlington down the street. I don’t know what is coming in the next couple weeks or months or years.
You are young. You will soon become busy. But they are still there. They watched you grow, they followed you here. They will remember, even if you don’t.
Months pass. They are there, watching and waiting. As your first year ends, you take a night to let it sink in. You and your friends are on the roof of your college dorm, recapping the year. You are wishing things won’t change. They will. You will too. The stars are glimmering above you, blinking and suggesting that it will all work out. You lay back. You believe them.
More months pass. Years. Europe beckons. You go alone, but the stars are still there. They follow from country to country, sparkling down, providing a feeling of safety. Of home. The Maryland sky. The Burlington sky. The Amsterdam sky. Your sky. Your stars.
Tonight you are just about home. “Home”. Your apartment. Graduation is in two months. It is bitterly cold outside, far too cold to linger, but you do anyway. The sky hasn’t been this clear in a long time. The stars, they’ve been patient. Pausing, you turn around, glancing at the house across the street. The roof. The roof where you leaned back, what feels like a lifetime ago. You leaned back and you believed in the stars. Tonight the roof is empty. But the sky is not. They were right, it has all worked out.
I know that I have already made a few great friends and that I am going to have an exciting adventure ahead of me. I know that I am scared of what is to come, but that hopefully this is where I will figure out more of who I am and what I am supposed to do.
You have great friends. You have had hundreds upon thousands of exciting adventures since you lay on that roof. You have been scared. You have been busy. You have loved and lost and loved again. You are figuring out who you are. You are figuring out what you’re supposed to do.
Most importantly, I know that even in this new place, hundreds of miles from my home and the people I love, I can still see the stars.
Most importantly, you remembered the stars.