The other night as my friend and I walked across campus, she told me to stop walking and look up. At first I didn’t know what she was talking about, and then she told me to look at the stars. Until that moment, I don’t think I had seen the stars since I arrived at Siena back at the end of August.
That moment reminded me of a post I wrote during last semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There, being in a large global city, I rarely saw the stars. At Siena it’s much the same way. In that post I described my hometown as:
“I come from a small, simple, and rural community in upstate New York. If you blink, you might miss Galway Village as you drive through. Forest and farmland dominate the rolling topography of my hometown. Lines on roads are not exactly common, and it is often rare to pass other vehicles on the back roads of this once colonial community. If there is traffic, it is usually because a tractor is on the road, or cows are crossing. Stars fill the sky on clear nights, and you can usually see the glow of the two cities that are closest to the town, as well as the lights of the atomic power lab that is nearby.”
Life has been too busy for me to really even think about the stars, and many other things for that matter. But it was nice to take a few seconds and admire the beauty of the universe we live in. It also reminded of the beauty of my own hometown. Yes, I have aspirations to leave my town, and the East Coast as a whole, but upstate New York is a beautiful place. Galway, with its rolling hills, and quiet roads, is a quaint farm town. Being at the foothills of the Adirondacks opens up a whole other world of natural beauty, and chance to see the stars. That sense of appreciation was once again reaffirmed the other night. Siena is a great place. The campus is well kept, and clean, but it’s nothing like Galway or the Adirondacks. Or any rural area.
I guess what I wanted to say here is that I need to be able to see the stars. More importantly, I need to remember to take a moment every now and then, to look up at the night sky. It’s healthy for my mind, body, and spirit. Every time I do, I’m amazed by what I see.
Walking Across the Bridge at Siena