I had dinner with my friend, Amanda, on Wednesday night. Though we are people who love and crave time in the natural world, we both made the decision to live in New York City for its cultural diversity and creative opportunities. Still, in these bleak months of winter with its heavy gray skies and meager hours of sunlight, my thoughts often turn to a different kind of life in a different kind of place that involves more trees and less concrete. You can take the girl off the farm, but that doesn’t mean you can make her forget its wonders.
Amanda and I talked about how much we miss the stars. While in New York City, you’ll gaze up at the sky to catch a glimpse of a handful of sparkly specks. Get out of the reach of the city lights and we are reminded that there is a galaxy with an infinite number of stars nestled into the darkness. I miss those stars; I miss the awe that they inspire and the perspective they provide. How can I have all the richness of the New York experience and still gaze at the stars? Is it possible to have both?
I thought a lot about this conversation as I wound my way from New York’s Little India to Times Square to catch the subway home. In a city like New York that has so few stars in the sky by which to navigate, we have to look for the stars among the people around us like my friend, Amanda.
While I miss those twinkling lights that I’ll never reach way up high, there’s something really precious and beautiful about being able to know and love the stars who light our way at ground level. We have to be one another’s True North.