Our winter skies have been beautifully clear and picturesque lately. I have often marveled at how much brighter the stars are and how much closer we seem to them living away from the city. The moon seems closer and brighter as well and when it illuminates the snow covered ground, it might as well be daytime at midnight. This is a unique quality to winter ( at least were we live) and I wonder at it every year.
In motherhood, as in the seasons, and with the birth of each new baby, I can't help but liken them to the brilliancy of stars. Just like gazing at the stars in different seasons, each of my children has their own uniqueness and qualities of brightness that reflects their light in different ways and at different times throughout the year.
In Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study she has a lovely section on "The Skies" and particularly, seasonal breakdowns for star gazing. In the winter section, she points out that "Sirius is the most brilliant of all the stars in our skies, glinting with ever-changing colors, sometimes blue, at others rosy or white." She goes on to say that it must have been this star that Browning wrote:
All that I know
Of a certain star
Is, it can throw
(Like the angled spar)
Now a dart of red,
Now a dart of blue.
She notes that Sirius has reached the blue-white stage, and although it is larger than our sun, and gives off twenty-six times as much light as our sun, it's superior brilliancy is due to it's nearness to us.
This is how I feel about my children!
Much like the star Sirius, my children's brilliant light depends alot on their nearness to me. If I am engaging and open in the way that I interact with them and as a family together, our light shines brightly for all to see, and each individual star can emulate it's special uniqueness and qualities to the other to enhance that familial brightness. My role as mother has a brightness all it's own and I find that the nearer I allow myself to be with my children, the more brightly they shine, this is also the case with my dh.
Comstock concludes, Sirius is the most celebrated star in literature. The ancients knew it, the Egyptians worshipped it, Homer sang of it, and it has had its place in the poetry of all the ages.
I like to think of my shining stars in this way! If I am able to help my children and allow them their brilliancy in their own time and space then we can celebrate their uniqueness and special qualities like a shining star "for all ages."
For me this is all part of the Sweetness and Light.