45 – Stars *

Special thanks to Steve for providing the photos. Steve is a long-time friend, a non-blogger, and in the USA – but anyone can view his portfolio at LightWaves Images or on Instagram. Feel free to comment on his images here. Steve’s work is copyrighted by Steven L Ancik.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

Last night provided a clear sky, so I admired the stars that I could see. I wish I could have seen more, but the area lights limit their display. At least what I saw sparks my thoughts for today.

There’s delight in staring at stars. We talk to them about our dreams and thoughts about the mysteries of the unknown world. As we watch them dazzle, flash, flicker, gleam, glitter, glow, shimmer, shine, sparkle, and twinkle in the night sky, stars seem to be the heartbeat of the universe.

Staring across the water while thinking about stars reminds me of the explorers of many years ago during an age without satellites and electronics – a time when the position of stars guided the way. Today, explorers as the Hubble Telescope and various probes enhance our knowledge of the stars and deep space.

Stars have been important to people for a very long time – maybe even forever. Because of their sparkle, we think of stars as precious gems. To the Ancient World, stars were lights anchored on a mythical dome covering our planetary home.

Besides orientation and navigation, stars served as a foundation for cultural stories, beliefs, customs, religious practices, and calendars. We recognize our birth as one designated by the stars of the Zodiac. After all, who hasn’t wondered, “What do the stars say?” when searching for their horoscope. I’m Aquarius. What’s your sign?

I think about how humans arrange stars into pictorial constellations – some of which we still recognize today while others didn’t survive the test of time. From the dippers to the bull, twins, sisters, the hunter, and more, I yearn to see something that I do not normally see; such as the Southern Cross – but those who see the Southern Cross want to see the North Star. But no matter where we are, stars make us wonder about life elsewhere or being galactic travelers.

Twinkle, twinkle little star makes our mind wander to wonder with thoughts about someone close. Twinkles serve as whispers as if they were messages from a dear friend who is far away, a loved one who has passed, a person we long for, or someone in a distant memory.

Mystical, magical, and imaginative, stars inspire authors, painters, songwriters, and dreams for poems, stories, paintings, and music filled with imagery and metaphors. Stars are glittering gems serving as signs of wisdom, glimmers of hope, and twinkles in a lover’s eyes. We relate stars to birth, death, love, and dreams. Isn’t it interesting that we vision them as five-pointed twinkles of silver, yet we color them yellow or gold?

To us, stars appear to begin congregating as nightfall’s curtain of darkness descends upon us, but they are also present in the bright light of day just behind the sky’s blue veil. Stars are magnetic to our eyes and seemingly waiting for our commands,

Stars – slowly appearing during the transformation of dusk to night – seemingly moving across the night sky as we turn – then slowly disappearing during dawn’s transition to daylight. On a clear night in the envelope of darkness, stars fill the sky – so many seemingly touching – but the distance between them is unimaginable to us.

The stars seem more infinite than the water to the horizon that one never reaches. Stars in trillions of galaxies – each galaxy with billions of stars. Simply, so many stars that our mind has a difficult time grasping that number. I wonder which is higher: the number of stars in the universe or the number of grains of sand on Earth?

To us, stars seem soft, gentle, and tame – yet we forget most are burning balls of fire that are far, far away. Fiery orbs of beauty fueled by nuclear fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium atoms, stars seem inaccessible and inexhaustible – but they aren’t because they too have a life cycle.

I’ve never seen the Milky Way – but hope to someday. Seeing it requires deep darkness – a darkness away from the many of humanity and without a moon – a time in the deep dark that will slow us down to marvel at the lights of the universe shining. I imagine that moment consuming me with awe and wonder. Someday. Hopefully someday.

Stars – the lights of night that are symbols of hope, truth, and goodness. I’m sure there is much more to say about them, but thinking about stars has been good for my day. After all, walking on the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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100 thoughts on “45 – Stars *”

  1. Stars as heartbeat of the universe , now that’s poetry. Beautiful flight of thought . Tonight I shan’t be looking at them as fiery orbs that burnt light years away but as the ancient people saw- lights anchored on the mythical dome covering Earth. Exquisite imagery, Frank !

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We’re so lucky to live in an area with little light pollution. I’ve even seen the Milky Way from time to time. I often go out at night simply to stare into the sky and have a few quit moments. And luckily my birthday falls between two star signs, so I can believe whatever I choose!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Astronomy was my favorite subject as a kid and all these years, stargazing has never lost its awe to me. Your stars thoughts are wonderful and so are Steve’s photos, who I intend to visit. Thank you for the introduction!
    Yamas!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautifully expressed thoughts about our star-filled universe…..I have always been a stargazer. I feel closer to a higher power when I look skyward. I love locating constellations and seeing “shooting stars”. Whenever I feel a need to connect to lost friends and family I feel closer to them while gazing at the stars. It’s a magical thing that I have never tired of in my 70+ years. Don McLean’s “Starry Starry Night” expresses it all better than I can……………

    Pam

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A lovely post, Frank! The stars definitely capture our imagination, and have done so since ancient times. It must be amazing to see the night sky in a remote place.
    Thank you for sharing my poem. I should have known that a dancing one would appeal to you. I’m fascinated, too, by the sounds of stars –their music.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have sat on the edge of the lake in the middle of a National Park. There was no light pollution for miles and miles. I have looked up into the starry night and heard the whisper and felt both insignificant and vitally important at the same time. It was all inspiring and deeply spiritually moving. It has been a long time. And I am a Gemini.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. It’s interesting how we’ve romanticized stars. I have many science-minded friends who know quite a bit about astronomy and can name many formations. I can’t. But still I am in awe of the vastness and beauty of a starry sky, and it always inspires poetic reverence… ✨

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Paula,
      I’m with you – I stand in awe of the vastness, plus the beauty Hubble captures of deep space, yet I know so little about it. I’m aware of apps that would help me learn, but I haven’t tried them. Because I enjoy the stars and wish I knew more about them, I probably should try it. Thanks for the nudge … and cheers to the joy the stars bring to you. … and wow … you are up early! ,,, so that deserves an extra thanks for walking along.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I enjoy to spend time looking at the sky. The moon is my favourite view, but I admire the stars too. I downloaded an App, night sky, and when you turn the phone to certain areas, it names all the planets, stars in the sky and the constellations…, It’s pretty neat!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Elizabeth,
      Those spending time looking at the night sky are the ones who appreciate it the most. Good for you. I tend to look beyond the stars into deep spaces – especially through the images of Hubble and others. Fascinating – but I should try that app because I can’t identify much in the night sky. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Loved this one Frank (and Steve). As always a very thorough and interesting exploration of the topic. The images are particularly beautiful – especially loved the time lapse. We had a class on capturing the Milky Way this year and spent a few hours on the beach shooting it. I was very disappointed in my results as I saw little sign (if any) of it either in the sky on my camera. When I got home and downloaded the images it was amazing! What I learned is if you do it correctly the human eye sees far less than the camera can capture when photographing the night sky. I also have VERY vivid and fond memories of seeing the Southern Cross from our visit to Uluru/Ayers Rock in Australia, and of shooting stars from a road in the middle of nowhere in Texas. In both cases, even though our beach here on Kiawah presents some glorious night viewing, the absolute darkness of both experiences was quite something incredible to behold! Thank you for the reminder of those fond memories.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tina,
      Thumbs up to you for the kind words about the essay and Steve’s images. Thank you. Special thanks for sharing a bit about a photographer’s view. Interesting … and no doubt, sky photography is a special technique. I’m not a photographer, but at least I know that much! 😉 Cheers to you for seeing some of my desires. I think it was last year, but I saw a news report of a train out west … I think in Nevada, but not sure. But the train was like a tour … people would board to be taken out into the middle of nowhere – the dark – just to see the night sky … and then back. Fascinating to me. Thanks for sharing some of your special moments.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love Milky Way photos. Even though we are sort of rural, we can no longer see the Milky Way because of light pollution. Steve’s photos are wonderful. He has a lot of sup landscapes on his website.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve photographed the Milky Way a few times traveling through remote parts of New Mexico at night. Otherwise, I always try to photograph major astronomical events such as eclipses, transits, comets, etc. as they always mark the end of the world as we know it.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. And let’s not forget the cottage industry that stars allowed for where people were “buying” stars up, as if they planned on moving in at the beginning of the month. I’d much rather wax poetic on the mystical arrangements than deal with zoning boards in space . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I remember as a kid being able to see the Milky. Way. Also, in Northern California the stars are absolutly beautiful. In the late 90s the Milky Way was visable. Not sure about now. My guess would be a low humity area that is mostly deserted would be a good place to view the Milky Way.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Interesting Frank!
    Stars are wonderful. Don’t see many in the city, though.
    I just did a drawing of a gown based on Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. So much fun.
    Of course all of the Models over on Art Gowns are Stars, and as a costume designer, I’m always thrilled to find out who the Star of the film is going to be.
    I have seen the Southern Cross. We were hiking in the Andes, through various ruins to the finale ruin s of Machu Picchu. It was a 6 day hike. The Southern Cross was there every night, along with other stars we don’t see up here in the north, or constellations that we see up here at a different time of year.
    One night, star gazing, we saw 5 shooting stars at once. Well, we called them shooting stars.
    I did see the Milky Way as a child. I would go to my aunt’s farm for holidays. Far from Winnipeg, out in the prairies, my cousins and I would sit out at night to see things like the Milky Way, or Northern Lights.
    Well, this was a fun reflection!
    Cheers to Stars!
    🌟🍷🌟

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Resa,
      Thanks so much for sharing some of your star stories. Those in your Andes trip … wow! … and 5 shooting stars at once? Extra special. I wonder if something was passing through on that night. Although not stars, but you’ve seen the Northern Lights too? Geez … you are lucky! Glad you enjoyed this walk!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Something passing through? Maybe.
        The shooting stars were all perfectly parallel to each other. However, The top star was in the lead, the others followed, in order, a certain distance behind. I thought it was nature’s perfection. Now, you’ve made me wonder.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Your posts are so rich…I am amazed at the frequency of your pubbing of these deeply thoughtful pieces.
    The Milky Way time lapse video is even better with the music muted! (I just like the silence in the awesomeness of watching it)

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Your posts always remind me of great quotes: “I know that I am mortal by nature, and ephemeral; but when I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies I no longer touch the earth with my feet: I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia” Ptolemy, Ptolemy’s Almagest

    Liked by 2 people

      1. of course i liked the content too- esp the part about how we overlook these as powerful when they look so small and we wish and dream
        on them –
        your research and writing for putting together posts is well done

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thanks for the kind words and follow-up. When replying, I tend to focus just on what the comment, therefore assuming nothing.
          The idea that twinkling lights are actually huge fires in deep space seems like a huge contradiction – but so true. And to think our sun is considered to be small compared to many of its counterparts.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. yeah – that is so true and i remember a lecture i heard tears again that had like eight to 10 “m” words for the sun and it was – middle sized compared to most stars –
            middle aged – and cannot recall the others – – something about the distance too – maybe brightness 🔆
            so remarkable ☀️

            Liked by 2 people

              1. well I think medium far away from earth – and not sure on the rest — and I likely should not have mentioned my faint memories – lol – it was so long ago so shhhh – let’s stick with what you gave us here and enjoy a Frank Angle star-themed beach walk reflection for a few more days until the next post emerges – good day to you 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. great – i’ll
                    check it out and by the way – thought of your post again when listening to one of my favorite albums – there is a song with Milky Way – i will share a link layer –
                    you might like the song

                    Liked by 1 person

  16. I miss seeing the stars! (Pesky city lights) Thanks for writing this; it helps me remember these same feelings and thoughts from all those times I was fortunate enough to see them. When still a young teen, I remember naively taking pillows and blankets outside one night when we lived on a country hilltop. We watched the stars all night until the heavy dew sent us back inside to our bedrooms. We saw the Milky Way, so many “shooting-stars,” the Dippers, and the ever identifiable Orion. Thank you again!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Beautiful photos and video. I’m sure the first nursery rhyme I learned was ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’. There are so many songs with the word ‘star’ in the title. My star sign is Leo and I think it suits my personality. I just wish I had a lion’s mane. 😅

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I have mostly lived in cities so to catch a glimpse of a starry sky is such a treat to me. It is so amazing to me that the children’s rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is so commonly taught as one of the first few songs to sing through generations now.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Who doesn’t know the twinkle, twinkle song? Right … I have a magical place where I can view the night skies every evening. Neighbors keep very low or no lighting. The night sky can be playful with its changing patterns.
    I enjoyed this write, aFrank. Be Safe 😷 … Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  20. One of the reasons I love camping so much is the star gazing that we invariably end up doing every night underneath our awe inspiring sky. But admittedly I do that at home too. I truly believe we’re not alone and that there’s many other civilisations out there! So much mystery in the Universe. Wonderful post Frank and great photos by Steve too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miriam,
      Love your comment because it has so much in it. I too am a believer that something is out there. I know there is no evidence of that – at least none yet – but given the vastness, it would seem there would be something somewhere. The universe is so grand, magical, mysterious, and mystical – so I adore images of deep space from Hubble and other powerful telescopes. Continue enjoying the night sky!

      Liked by 2 people

  21. a stellar post Frank and stunning shots. I check out the sky frequently as I have a huge picture window with a vast view and every night I star gaze as I make my daily dedications just before sleep 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. What beautiful photos! Really fantastic. I love the night sky and make certain to get some time outdoors every evening taking note of the moon and stars, and I am thrilled on the occasions when I can spy a visible planet or two. We have so much light pollution it isn’t always as satisfying as it can be when we are out in the desert, but I enjoy whatever I can see, and I truly feel its a moment of reverence. Great post, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I love Steve’s photography, Frank. I had a look at his Instagram account with silent envy. 🙂 🙂 Amazing the leap we have made since I was a child in what was known of the universe and the stars, and what we now know. I am in awe of our world.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jo,
      Glad you enjoyed Steve’s photos, so on his behalf, thank you. I’m amazed at the photographer’s skills. As I say, they are photographers, I take pictures. The amount of new knowledge about the sky above in our lifetime is difficult to imagine – especially since most people start with so little. I also stand in awe with you – especially when I see images of deep space, such as those from the Hubble telescope.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Stars… oh yes! The prompt for many a dream. Yes, Frank, the stars have aligned for our two posts this time. As you know, I’m only popping into Blogland every so often at the moment, so haven’t seen your post until now! The image Eugenia chose for her prompt this week reminded me of my starsign, Pisces, hence my reaching for the stars there.
    I love the photos you’ve shared with your post. That canopy above provides a special kind of magic every time it appears.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Beautiful pictures and I was lucky enough to see the Southern Cross during a cruise. It was so cool. Glad I hung out on an illegal part of the boat with a crew member till four in the morning to be able to see it.
    Who hasn’t wished upon a start at least once?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. What a lovely post (complete with the sound of ocean waves)! I often think that our human obsession with lighting (city streets, around our homes, etc.) as well as televisions and the myriad viewing options they now offer us have damaged a very deep, mystical connection with the universe that human beings used to have on a much more regular basis. Many of us seem to have lost a sense of humility as well as a sense of awe/wonder at the vastness of creation. I cherish camping each summer so that I can lie on the ground whenever there is a cloudless night and just gaze at the wonder of it all… One sign of a successful/compelling post is the quality of comments it inspires. You obviously tapped into a bunch of our hearts and memories with this particular post. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will,
      Welcome first-time beach walk to the sandy confines of my personal beach. You mentioned the rich comments, and I thank you for your addition to that. I invite you to visit walk #36 (Beaches v1) AND the #37 (Beaches v2). Both we written from reader comments, not my thoughts. Here’s the link to v1. https://beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com/2021/02/02/36-beaches-v1/ Awe and wonder of the universe … ahhhhh …. I keep thinking of Carl Sagan because we truly expressed awe and wonder. Deep space images do it for me.

      Like

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