Write On: Stars Upon Stars by Abigail Cobb
August 26, 2022
Essay by: Abigail Cobb
Roseau Community School
Mrs. Kelsey Didrikson, Advanced English 11
• Step One: Plan on staying up late on a summer night.
As a little girl, I would stay up late and lay in my bed spending my nights looking out the window. Sitting in awe, I saw thousands, upon millions of stars staring back at me. Constellations and galaxies that tell so many stories with their bright, luminous light. I found peace in the stars, and gazed into the sky without a worry in the world, until my eyes started to close. Waking up the next day, I couldn't wait until the sun began to set again.
• Step Two: Find the perfect destination to stargaze, whether it be: an open field, your backyard, a truck bed, docks on the water, a window in your house, or a comfy chair. (I personally recommend somewhere away from the city - far from the city lights).
During the hot summers, once it started to cool down, all the kids begged and begged to have a bonfire. Of course the parents would say, "Yes!" as long as we gathered the wood, filled the fire pit with old paper, and found a lighter. We ran to find an adult because no one was allowed to start the fire without an adult. They lit the fire and the adults rambled on about politics, news, and family gossip.
• Step Three: No matter the destination you choose, bring a blanket. It might get chilly. It is always smart to keep one on hand.
I am sitting at the fire all cozied up with my big, musty smelling blanket and my s'more, melting away in my hand. I locate the handwipes my mom always has on her; because she knows just how messy we are. I wipe my hands and my face to escape the stickiness. I attempted to sneak just one more marshmallow from the bag - but I always got caught. I swear my mom had eyes everywhere. I then adjust myself in the uncomfortable metal chair, and wiggle around to find the sweet spot. We all settle down, just in time before the sun begins to set.
The sun creeps below the horizon, and the fire begins to grow bigger. My little pup, Oscar, lays comfortably on my grandpa's lap and the sound of the kids whining about wanting one more s'more fills my ears. I look around and see all of the lit up faces of my family from the booming fire in front of us. It is starting to get chilly, and everyone begins to cuddle up. I look over to my dad, and the expression in his eyes invites me to sit with him.
Not only do I have my cozy and musty smelling blanket, but the heat of my dad's big belly and 6'5" figure, I'm as warm as I can be. Once again, I adjusted myself to comfortably lay on my dad's chest.
• Step Four: Download the app - SkyView Lite. An app you can download on your phone so you can explore the constellations and galaxies of the universe right where you are.
Then came my favorite part of it all - the stars began to creep into the night sky. We whipped out our phones and used SkyView Lite to see where all the constellations were. The Little and Big Dipper, Orion, and the North Star. That was the highlight of my night, by far.
• Step Five: Try your best to stay still and comfortable in your chair, blanket, etc. If you are lucky enough, you might be able to catch a glimpse of a meteor shower or a shooting star.
Looking back, I can remember the adults beginning to talk about topics us kids don't quite understand. We eventually tune the adults out, and fix our eyes into the sky above us - darkening with every second. We shush each other and point out the stars that begin to peek through the clouds. My dad doesn't notice, but I match the rhythm of his inhale and exhale to mine. In the background, the soft and faint music shuffles music by Shania Twain and Johnny Cash.
My dad soon whipped out the app SkyView Lite, and pointed his camera up into the sky. He shifted in his chair to show me the stars. He showed me the Little and Big Dipper, Orion's Belt, and his favorite, The North Star. He always loved The North Star because no matter where he was, he knew the star would always be there shining just as bright. He would always tell me that is how he sees me. The more I grow, and the distance that creeps between us, he knows I will always be there, shining bright - just like his North Star.
• Step Six: Once your eyelids are getting heavy, go home, get ready for bed, and repeat these steps all over again the following night.
My eyelids become heavy and my head begins to fall uncomfortably on the metal chair. My dad holds me just a while longer, but I become too much to hold. He lifts me up, curled up in my fuzzy blanket, and takes me into the house. Still carrying me, he walks up the stairs, accidentally shaking me just enough to wake me up and I realize I am almost to my bed. He opens my creaky door and lays me into my bed. Just as I am waking up, he kisses me goodnight and says "Goodnight Kiddo, I love you." He walks out of my door and shuts it carefully and quietly.
As I lay in my bed, now wide awake, I can hear the adults right outside of my window talking, laughing, and joking around. I can't resist, so I pull back my gray curtains and peek through the open window. The fire is still just as big, but when I look out, no one is paying attention to the fire. Everyone's head is tilted towards the sky. They look into the depths of the sky, just like I did.
I grab my blanket, and sneak out to the front deck. At this time of night, the moonlight casts just enough light to be able to see the yard. I look into the sky and think to myself, there is nothing I would rather do, than sit in my porch chair, listening to the adults talk and laugh amongst each other, and let my worries soak into the stars. Nothing will ever compare.
As I continue to get older, and I can finally light the fire by myself, the tradition continues to carry on. However, I started to share my passion with those around me. I gather friends and we have bonfires on hot summer nights, just like I did as a little girl. We sit in a circle after we get the fire going, tell stories, talk to each other, and watch the stars. We sit together under the stars and appreciate the little things in life. It makes it so much more special when we're able to do it together.
On June 13th, 2021, life threw a curveball at me. It started off as a normal night with friends but it became one of the most memorable summer nights. The night started off with just a couple of us hanging out, just being teenagers. By the end of the night, I connected with a friend, more than I ever have. We sat on the docks listening to the water ripple against the shore, and watched the stars twinkle in the night sky. We shared personal memories, talked about childhoods, and why I love the sky as much as I do. Every worry I had, soaked into the stars on that warm summer night.
From being a little girl, to being the growing teenager I am today, I have never enjoyed anything more than I enjoy watching the stars glisten at night. I love having the feeling that my only worry in the world is catching a glimpse of a shooting star. I believe that watching the stars will never get old, and I'll always find peace doing it. The late nights, the heavy eyelids, and the tiredness the next day, is all worth it when I get to do one of the things I love most. Stargazing has become a part of me.