The Art of Stargazing
It’s half past midnight when my best friend and I make our way to the beach and settle next to each other in the sand. To me, stargazing is the antithesis of anxiety. I’ve spent hours rewriting a single sentence. As a little kid, making a birthday card was an environmental hazard. I would remake the card over and over again because of the slightest imperfections. I’d cringe looking at a flower with any wilting petals. And if my ponytail had a single bump, I had to remake it before stepping outside. I tend to overthink and fret about most things, but that anxiety is significantly decreased when I’m taking in the expansiveness of our galaxy. There is no wrong way to stargaze, much like there is no wrong way to act with your best friend. It doesn’t matter whether you chat enthusiastically or share a peaceful silence if it is organic to your relationship. In life, we are often encouraged to engage in shallow pleasantries. But, with our eyes on the heavens and our toes in the sand, there is no need to force conversation. Rather, we can allow the natural flow of topics to come up without ample effort. It doesn’t feel like mourning, talking about the dead. It feels like honoring and expressing love for those we’ve loved who now live amongst the stars. Staring up at the night sky, it’s impossible not to recognize how insignificant our individual lives are. The vast expanse of infinite space cannot be stuffed into a Hallmark card or a Russell Stover commercial. It’s an experience that must be lived. Lying on the sand, I watch the starlight extinguish the dwindling embers of my worries.