I’m not sure when the bug hit, but it has been part of me as long as I can remember. I would stare up at the stars in the sky with wonder and awe and enjoyment. As Christmas approached, my dad, being the tallest person in the house, would place the star on top of the tree. It was made of a foil material, shiny and metallic. When the lights around the room were turned out, the Christmas tree lights turned on, and it was dark outside, the room would suddenly become a reflective tapestry of light patterns. Little lines, made delicate against the walls with the white lights, would entertain me for hours. I remember lying in the floor with my family, just watching the lights.
When I go out at night, my eyes still wander up. My jaw still drops when I see a floating trail of light stream across the sky. I smile when I see planets lighting up the sky like brilliant and perceptually tiny globes of fire. Little pin pricks of light form constellations. Stories combine together the light points to make up patterns, reasons and direction.
The shepherds must have had quite a few that year in the hillsides around Bethlehem. There they were, watching their flocks, and perhaps gazing up at the sky. Not a sky blazoned with city fluorescent lights, but a dark sky that would have shown a milky way to take your breath away. They saw other things that night as well, angels came to the shepherds. Perhaps for years after, they looked up at the sky and remembered the bright lights, the beauty of the sky that night.