|01-31-2004, 03:21 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Madison, MS
LIFE - DEATH - PURPOSE - Column
Here it is, the last day of the first month of the year. Have you been outside at night? Not rushing to and from your car but out there standing still drinking in the view from overhead.
Winter skies are like no other, especially after darkness folds its arms around the Earth. Desolate grays turn to charcoal nights in the middle of a Mississippi winter.
The smell of nearby fireplaces fill the air in the neighborhood with the aroma of oak. The year is young, only one month old.
On this January night the sky was clear and a legion of stars were speckled across the black abyss above me. The moon, three-quarters full, was rising near the tree tops on the eastern horizon. A light wind rattled through the leaves that remained attached to some old maple trees.
These are the times for contemplation. These are the times you comb the caverns of your soul, seeking untold answers. You stand in the darkness gazing upward into the core of heaven waiting to see the face of God - waiting and wondering.
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is my destiny?
You drift back in time. You ponder the desolate islands in your memory for thoughts that were banished long ago for whatever reasons.
You try to remember falling stars from nights long passed; people, places, times.
These faint recollections echo throughout our subconscious like familiar lullabies that soothe our tortured spirit. They glide in and out of sight, never overstaying their welcome. Some memories remain so very clear, so bright and alive.
I can remember, as a child sitting on the beach at Pensacola, watching the Fourth of July fireworks light up the ocean's surface. They burst and exploded into blue-greens, reds and glorious whites as the band played on. The sky seemed to soak up their colors like one enormous sponge.
And in the fall of the year, deep within the forest, I can still see the orange-red of the coals after the campfire logs had burned, their warm glowing embers reflecting upon my face. Crickets and frogs serenading in the distance along with the distant hoot and the occasional howl.
I can still picture the mirror image of the sky on the lake in early morning hours, just after the mist had lifted and the rays of sunlight flickering like a prism through the pine trees. Visions of color etched upon my psyche.
Time muddles the memory, but these thoughts aren't completely obscured from my recall yet. I can, and do, summon them up on occasion. They are much like actors waiting in the wings of my conscious to entertain and amuse me in times of boredom or despair. They are the salvation of my soul sometimes, the earthy equivalent, anyway.
Yes, these are the nights of melancholy, the long and lonely nights of winter, nights that ignite the imagination of dreamers and romantics.
We see what we want to see and dream of what we'll never know except within the confines of our mind. We write the scripts and act out the parts; we are born, die, and are reborn again.
We laugh the silly laughter and cry the desperate tears. We bow, scrape and serve to please all that surround us.
We are alive inside, but we carry our masked exterior to protect us. Like the Perot Clowns of Mardi Gras, we parade on by.
We search the sky for comet tails and answers. We pray for this and that; we make pacts and bargains with God up above.
We are the poets, standing alone in the falling rain outside your window, holding tightly to the promise of love. We wish upon the shooting star and stare in awe at every rainbow.
We lie awake and wonder while the world around us sleeps, but in our heart of hearts we know the truth . . . There are no answers in the night sky, only stars, planets and angels.
Rusty Reeves is the author of "Velvet Sky" and "Revealing the Covenant." His book "The Lightning Tree" will be released this year. He lives in Madison and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[This message was edited by Rusty Van Reeves on 02-01-04 at 04:46 PM.]