Nocturnal Crystals

The first time I really saw for myself the night sky in its true beauty was on holiday a couple of years back. We’d rented a cottage out in the country, up in the hills of Yorkshire. On one lazy evening, when our stomachs were pleasantly full and our conversations had drawn to a contented close, we all made our way to bed. Not long after, my dad called out eagerly to me…

“Come outside and have a look!” He grinned triumphantly like he always does when he’s got something to show me.
“What is it?” He only beckoned mutely in reply.
“The sky!” My sister enthused as she came in from outside, her eyes shining, her brown curls falling around her innocent face. “It’s full of stars!” I followed her eagerly out of the cottage door out onto the patio, a sweeping blast of chilling air blanketing me. My bare feet first met with the hard cold stone and then squidged comfortingly into the dewy grass, encasing themselves like ice slippers, the wet mud oozing between my toes. I tilted up my head towards the impending darkness. My eyes blinked madly for something to focus on but it was just endless inky darkness – it made no difference if my eyes were wide open in expectation or clamped shut in peaceful tension.

“I can’t see anything!”
“You will.” My dad’s voice floated to me in the crisp breeze that tickled the hem of my nightdress. “Just keep looking.”
So I did. And little by little, my eyes shifted and I began to see them - embedded gems of the night shining proudly in between the soft creases of the blanket sky. Where the infinite curtains of indigo hung ominously all around, enveloping me, these tiny crystals of hope broke through, outshadowing the doom. More and more glinted into sight, dissolving the veil that had swung in front of my eyes. They clustered here and there, like a thousand cherished families; like a hundred pair of lovers; like a dozen lonesome wanderers, a couple of which stood alone, outshining the rest, yet still alone. Though tranquil they grouped together, unwittingly forming the population of the night; splashing out their shimmering glory for all to see.

“Look! A shooting star!” My neck ached horribly but I didn’t care a bit. I could stay out here forever, just gazing, fixed. A darting streak of white danced fleetingly across my vision. I blinked and it was gone; dived amongst the depths of its maternal feathery cover. I couldn’t contain my joy; I’d just managed to squeeze into that ephemeral moment, a tumble of words, whispered frantically in my head as the dust flew away; a wish, much too ambitious. But I’d wished it anyway.

This is me and the night sky.

The End

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