Seeing the Stars Every Night Overhead

Coast Watches: Twelve Meditations

December 15

I’ve always wanted to live in a bedroom with a glass ceiling. Why paste little glowy stars on a painted ceiling? Why not the real thing? Why not see the real stars overhead at night? Why not sleep to the circling stars? Why not a glass-ceilinged house? Why asphalt shingles and practicality?

Besides, what’s more practical than remembering who we are, where we came from. We are all made of star-stuff.

Once I stayed overnight at a collective in Sedro Wooley and slept in his bed with a glass-roof. The landowner made all his buildings from driftwood and scrap supplies, including the Baba Yaga house with driftwood roots as roofbeams, roots reaching out at each end to grasp the stars.

So he, of all people, would build a cabin with a small bedroom just the size of an 8×8 plate of glass. Sleep came reluctantly to me under the dotted-swiss sky.

Now I live in a house with a skylight, a reasonable 3×4 skylight in the roof over my loft bed. I would have an 8×8 skylight overhead, but actually I can’t complain, since I have a 24×18 window-wall to the west, and if I really want to see more of the night sky, I can sleep on the living room floor or out on the deck.

So these winter months I content myself with my small window on the sky, staring up through clouds, dark space, wind and rain and sky, hoping for stars. And moon. Yes.

Looking up each night makes a difference. It’s hard to pinpoint, but looking up and out is so different from my usual sleep patterns, snuggling in and burrowing deep in the covers to get warm, curling and sinking down and inwards to oblivion.

Seeing stars is so expansive. And they move, shift position, disappear into the pines, over the horizon.

Sleeping out under the stars changes us if we let it.

For centuries people have slept out under the stars, forced to or chose to, and have felt closer. Closer to what? To God? To the universe, the galaxy? Closer to Nature? Closer to our original selves?

And how would that change us? I think if our houses had glass roofs, or at least skylights over the beds, we’d wake up feeling free-er, bigger, taller. Less encumbered, more divine.

Next: Moonset

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