People were captivated and bought the lovely paper stars and soon they were all looking up to the sky spotting their very own stars. Smiling they chatted to their neighbours about their particular star and soon the whole village was smiling and looking upwards.
This story reminds me of the current situation here in the UK we are suffering along with many parts of the world, from an economic crisis. Many people are very unhappy, struggling with day to day living as never before. Recently however, a young Professor from Manchester University presented a series of programmes on television called ‘Stargazing Live’. This was broadcast from the giant Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope in the North of England. Professor Brian Cox teachers Physics at Manchester University and is also involved with the Cern Experiment deep beneath the earth in Switzerland. Well something unexpected and quite wonderful happened when these programmes went on air, it was if the entire country had been captivated. Groups of astronomy enthusiasts have sprung up everywhere. Schools have become involved and sales of telescopes have (if you will pardon the expression) gone stellar! Water cooler conversations are all about stars and planets, truly extraordinary. It was as if we all needed someone to encourage us to smile and look up.
Mankind has however, always been fascinated by the night sky. From the ancient mariners who would be guided by the constellations to modern day astronomers and even astrology? Many people find the idea of astrology quite ridiculous but will never miss reading their star sign predictions in newspapers and magazines! We all love the bible story of the Magi following the star to Bethlehem. The Magi were in fact Zoroastrians and keen astronomers, noted in their society for knowledge of the stars. The everyday people could not understand the basis of their knowledge and decided it must all be magic. This of course is i the source of the modern day expression magician.
Children were told in the past and perhaps even today, that when a loved one dies they become stars in the sky. Just like Hiawatha was told about his grandmother. It is a lovely concept for a small child who often would look each night for their loved one in the night sky. I think it is safe to say that people now do not believe this to be the case or indeed that heaven and the angels reside in the sky above our heads. The beauty of the night sky however, will certain y bring the angels closer lifting your spirits as well as your eyes skyward. We all came from stardust and feel such affinity with the beautiful night sky. When life is getting you down and your eyes are glued to the floor, remember the star man, look up and ask your angel to help you smile, you will not be disappointed.
Ye earth-born children of a star
Amid the depths of space
The cosmic wonder from afar
Within your minds embrace.
John G. MacKinnon (1903)