The Stars Among Us

My mother used to recite an old saying to remind me that as different as people can be from one another, they all have similarities. “They put their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.” No matter the varying talents and the variety of accomplishments, the reality is that there are many things—not just in the way we put on pants—which we all have in common. Sometimes,though, we forget this. Perhaps because it is difficult to see the similarities when all we look at are the differences. There are vast differences from one person to another and there should be, otherwise the world would be pretty flat, rather unappealing.

In the country side of Virginia the world is not flat and it is very appealing. I am where the subfreezing temperatures and dry air has cleared the atmospheric haze and I am treated to an amazing screen of stars in the night sky. The moon’s whisper of fading light darkens the backdrop even more and I see planets and constellations I don’t think I’ve ever seen. The sky feels far reaching and never ending. Some stars twinkle and I wonder if I am really looking at a satellite. Other stars form elaborate patterns with their neighbors. While many burn bright like a super nova, others only appear after I stare into the sky for several minutes. They are all different, yet all amazing.

Here on earth, I am witness to the human stars that surround me this week. Writers completing their eighth and ninth novels, others sharing experiences on the process of having their books made into movies, and artists who are constructing entire freestanding edifices. I listen. I smile. I feel far removed from their universe—a mere visitor to their planet. Part of me is intimidated. The same way I am overwhelmed by the idea of learning all the names to all the constellations. A large part of me is impressed that in this world of hi-tech and multi-tasking, there are still many committed to the work that is their passion. The creative arts are a passion that may not solve world hunger, yet feeds many souls. And for many, their souls must be satiated as their accomplishments seem to pile one on top of another.

I do stand in awe of those who have shined in their respective fields. Although they have far more successes to point to, I am not completely unlike them. Just as I am not unlike all the other people I encounter in the world. While I haven’t witnessed it, I am sure these accomplished writers and artists put their pants on one leg at a time. And, I would bet they look up at wonder and awe at the star filled sky—that same sky that I look up to in wonder, amazed at how many stars the universe can hold.


  1. Lori says:

    Ann- I have said many times that you write with such introspection – such true feelings and observations. You make me feel I am sitting beside you just listening to you speak and sip a delicious cup of psychological tea and clamorous for more.


  2. Amy says:

    These lovely thoughts are so well articulated. Thank you for feeding my soul today!

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