I am a sucker for the promise of shooting stars.
I have happy memories of looking up, in the company of people I love, in spaces that felt safe, waiting together for the magic of a twinkling flash streaking through the darkness.
This year, I heard the Taurid meteor shower was supposed to be particularly wonderful. News sources touted “20 to 30 per hour!!”
Did I mention I'm a sucker for shooting stars?
On November 12, 2019, fireballs streaked through the night.
The clouds under which my sightlines reside made it impossible to see them, though they were still there, and I stood out in the dark and cold, wrapped in a blanket, straining my neck, hoping to catch a glimpse anyway.
I noticed the next day that it could appear as though I never quite learned my lesson–giving my best in places where my best isn't quite good enough to fan good things into brighter flame, where the promise of experiencing bright, beautiful, warm shooting stars lures me into the cold dark longer than I should remain.
But I heard that people in the midwest, and in places like Saxony, Germany saw the spectacular showers and fireballs. They even filmed them, so I know it wasn’t a hoax.
And so, though it may seem foolish, I stand out in the dark and cold, maybe longer than I ought to sometimes, because there is always the possibility of experiencing something that seems magical. There is a chance that I may catch that glimpse of something glorious. The possibility outweighs the cost. Because disappointment and regret coexist with gratitude and hope. And I know that just because I don’t experience the beauty of a thing, doesn't mean the beauty isn't there.
I am a sucker for shooting stars. Sometimes I’ve seen them. Other times I’ve not.
We live life in the space of both /and, where we can hope, despite there being no guarantee that our hopes are realized. We get to choose whether or not to wait on moments of magic, of transformation, of renewal with the people, communities, circumstances, and systems we’re living among.
Sometimes the wait disappoints. Other times it yields wonder. But the wait is rarely ever a waste.
Both/ And. This is the mystery.
As we enter the liturgical season of Advent, a season of waiting, anticipation, and often one filled with invitations to hope in things unseen, may whatever you find yourself waiting on be blessed, and may you find meaning in the waiting itself.
Stefani Rossi studied painting and printmaking at the University of Puget Sound. In 2010 she received her MFA in painting from Colorado State University. Her work has been exhibited nationally in solo and group exhibitions. Stefani served as Ruminate Magazine's visual art editor from 2008-2017. More of Stefani’s work can be viewed at www.stefanirossi.com
Next up, The Grace of Waiting and its End.
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