Seeing Stars

I met some of the kids in my new neighborhood and the prospect of making friends was looking up. Buddy was one of the kids who got my attention. He was cute. He wore cut-off denim shorts long before jeans became important a decade later. And he was talented. He could produce the loudest, most perfect whistle I ever heard, the kind made by placing the thumb and index finger in the corners of your mouth. Not only that, when he whistled his three-note call, he would bend his knees outward and, at the same time, tip an imaginary hat. I was impressed.

In spite of the excitement of making friends and having much to explore in my new surroundings, I was eager to resume the chore of unpacking my stuff and setting up my room. I tenderly reached for my telescope and wondered if I would see a difference in the night sky from this new vantage point 500 miles from the home I called home just days before. 

I was just a bud of a girl, eleven years and some, interested in exploring and learning about the wonders of this world I inhabited. My mind was always spinning and blossoming was the last thing on it. Even as I took the telescope out for a trial, I was guided by my child’s mind to look upward into the universe ready to have my imagination fired up.

I took the telescope out in the front yard and aimed upward to the skies. Then the idea came to me - an idea so exciting, almost exotic. My yard was on a hill. I noticed that two blocks away, down the slope and up again to another hill of equal elevation was the illuminated kitchen window at the back of Buddy’s house with no obstructions in between. 

With much anticipation, I shifted the telescope downward to a horizontal position. With some minor adjustments in aim and focus, I soon obtained a perfect, upside-down view of Buddy and his mother washing dishes at the kitchen sink. I could see the tiny flowers on the yellow curtains. My heart thumped as I watched. I couldn’t quite identify the feeling of seeing this new friend, the cute, talented one, but it was something different.

Adjustments in aim and focus - that night - away from the mysteries of the universe down to the here and now on Earth, brimming with new energies and emotions that were about to propel me headlong into my adolescence.