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Eyes to the Stars

porchviewWhen I was a kid, my father liked to take my siblings and me up to the roof to look at the stars. I well remember how scary it was to climb the ladder and the awful, pivotal moment at the top when I had to step around the ladder onto the roof itself. For an instant, my weight would hover above a drop of dark air, the crickets would crescendo, and fear would suck the breath out of me.

It was worth it, though, once I reached the flat, wooden platform near the chimney, and I’d stretch out on my back in a blanket, with my siblings pressed shivering beside me. We’d try to see where Dad was pointing as he guided us around the constellations. We’d watch for the blinking progress of a satellite. We’d open our eyes wide, until stars appeared between stars, until darkness was nothing to fear.

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