I plonked myself in bed one night and stretched the tired frame. The feeling of the muscles relaxing against the mattress is a welcome one. The thighs and calf muscles let out a small moan of gratitude at being allowed to rest. How lovely it would be if I could just sleep for another 12-14 hours? I knew the alarm had different plans for me though.
It had been another long day in a series of long days. The relentless nature of the days, and the things that were occupying them had me feeling somewhat jaded.
Annie Dillard whispered her wisdom “How we occupy our days in how we occupy our lives.”
I really need something to rekindle the magic of life, I said to myself, and then remembered that a task lay ahead of me that had little to no magical appeal. I had forgotten that it was the night to put out the garbage cans for collection the next day. My muscles screamed in protest as I got up to take care of the unsavory task.
I tried to silence the sound track of the amount of garbage we generate and push out just for this moment the heart -rending images of the garbage floating in our oceans that I had seen in the National Geographic magazine. I tramped from garbage can to garbage can in the various rooms in the house stumping listlessly and loudly. The sounds of my footsteps loudly registering my exhaustion and irritation at the same time.
I dragged the cans out to the curb. A cool breeze gently caressed my tired frame. I stopped at the end of the curb, and lifted my eyes. I stood there caught in the moment of transformation. There was Jupiter shining down brightly near the Scorpio constellation in the summer sky. I veered my eyesight to the right and there was Little Dipper. It had been a long time since I glanced up at the night sky. The advent of summer meant that by the time the stars twinkled down gently at us at night, I was too tuckered out to exert myself to gaze longingly at the planets and the stars. ✨
I stood there for sometime. A few neighbors had stepped out on similar errands looking equally spent, and we had a curbside-garbage-can chat. I showed them Jupiter and the constellations I recognized. Really! How such a simple thing can invigorate us all is amazing. Soon, we were whipping out the Skyview app and looking for constellations and stars, familiar and unfamiliar.
It was then I saw the artificial satellite orbit the Earth – shooting much faster than the remaining stars, steadily moving across the night sky, like a little star out for a run. In a matter of minutes, we were talking about the kind of data the orbiting satellites send us. No surer reminder of the Pale Blue Dot than an orbiting satellite is there?
I traipsed back to bed after this welcome interlude of the magic of the skies. Who knew? Garbage collection could turn magical after all.
To quote Herman Hesse, “My advice to the person suffering from lack of time and from apathy is this: Seek out each day as many as possible of the small joys.”