Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

7.09.2010

The Night the Stars Streaked

Mikaela and I had been sent to bed long ago, but the falling summer sun was so orange and bright through our window and our gabled bedroom was so warm and stifling that we were certainly not inclined to fall asleep. We could wield our tongues with each other for time without end, and in the course of our whispered conversation we soon had crept out of bed to enjoy the night. We carefully opened the window and breathed in the sultry summer air. Sleep was forgotten.

But the time of reckoning came. "Come down here," a voice suddenly called from the ground below the window. I slapped my hand to my mouth and stared, wide-eyed, at Mikaela. That was Mama’s voice from outside, and it filled us with dismay.

With quivering knees and longing, apologetic glances at our beds we obeyed. Our hearts beat fast, and my already sweaty hands began to drip. Why oh why oh why didn’t I just go to bed! I asked myself as we thumped downstairs. I could already almost feel the spanking that I knew I deserved. We couldn't dally forever, though, and our path led through the backdoor, across the patio, over the lawn, and soon enough to Mama and Papa.

For a moment they didn't say anything—only looked at us with raised eyebrows as we guiltily stood in the grass. Finally Mama said, with a stern edge to her voice, "Lie down next to us."
“Lie down next to us?” It all seemed rather peculiar, so we weren't quite sure what to expect. You see, our parents don't usually go outside late at night. And even if they did, they don't usually make a habit of lying flat on their backs on a ratty old blanket. And even if that were to happen, rare is the day that we would go undisciplined for staying up past our bedtime. We couldn't be sure if they were going to give us a lecture or just make us endure the suspense, so we flopped down next to them and wriggled around until we were reasonably comfortable. The musical soprano of the crickets and bass of the frogs was the only sound for a few moments; Mama and Papa lay in perfect contentment while Mikaela and I slapped mosquitoes and tried to delve into the murky depths of these odd happenings.

Suddenly, Mama exclaimed right in my ear, "Wow! Did you see that one!"
What one? And one what?
"Yeah, it was really bright, wasn't it?" Papa answered from across the blanket.
But I didn’t see anything!
We were dying of curiosity.
Papa half-raised himself from the blanket. "Did you see the shooting star, girls?" He asked, and I could hear that exhilaration in his voice.
An impossible thrill of realization ran through me, and I was in awe. "Where? That was a shooting star?"
If only I could find a star, I thought. That would be something to talk about! I could see that my sister felt the same way.

So all four of us lay together on the ratty old blanket, dusk having chased the sun from the horizon, our toes tickling each other’s legs, mosquitoes eating us alive, and a chill driving us to snuggle closer, but our eyes were intent on the sky. At first, I wildly scanned the inky sky, desperate to spot a shooting star, but after a few moments calmness came over me. Together, Mama, Papa, Mikaela, and I were caught up in God's creation, and I felt very small under the umbrella of the infinite sky.

There would be gentle chatter with Mama and Papa about our ten-year old adventures for a few moments until someone jubilantly interrupted by calling out,"Look- there's one!" Then everyone else would sit bolt upright and frantically follow the pointing finger until they located the star. We would critique it, lovingly admire it, and follow its shimmering path with our eyes in the brief seconds before it melted into the horizon. After the star had glided from our view, we would fall into silence, overwhelmed at the spectacle we had just seen. It would not be long, though, before another one would be spotted, and the routine would be repeated.

Funny thing—I don’t remember the punishment, although I know I was better at crawling right into my little bed after that night. All I remember is the evening that I spent with Mama and Papa, curled up in their arms, following their pointing fingers to the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. And as I finally fell asleep that night, blanketed in the warm summer air, I couldn't have put it into words, but I felt loved, and I knew that as long as my parents pointed things out to me in the sky, I would follow their fingers for--somehow--they knew just what to look for.

And then, finally, sleep came.

6 comments:

  1. I love shooting stars! Great story-telling.

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  2. Beautifully described! Your family sounds amazing :)

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  3. Lauren, what a fun and beautiful post! I loved your descriptions. : )

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  4. I stumbled upon your blog in "blogs of note." I hope you don't mind me following. :)

    I love the way you described this night. I can just see it in my mind's eye. I once went star gazing and saw 18 shooting stars and a comet in one sitting! It was incredible. God really did make an amazing place for us to live in.

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  5. Brandy--I know...I'm so glad God created shooting stars for us to enjoy! Thanks for reading!
    MK--You're very sweet! Yes, my family is completely amazing, and I am so blessed!
    Ruthie--Thanks so much! That means a lot to me, and I love reading your comments from another continent! (-:
    Samantha--Mind you following? We LOVE our followers! Each and every one! Thanks so much! Wow--that sounds like an amazing night of star gazing! I have an astronomy-minded sister, and she would be completely jealous of you. She would also inform me that we technically saw a meteor shower. Good thing I have her to keep me up to date!(-:

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  6. i always love reading your stories:)

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