A couple of weeks ago we drove up Mount Seymour to watch the Perseid meteor shower away from the bright lights of the city. It was a lovely evening with excellent viewing conditions – warm and clear with very little moonlight. We parked at the far end of one of the parking lots, where there was a large enough gap in the trees to show lots of sky, and lay on a rug by our car with eyes fixed on the heavens.
We weren’t alone in our contemplation. All along one side of the lot there were parked cars with small knots of people sitting or standing nearby – or in one case, snuggling in nests of blankets on top of the car itself. So every shooting star was accompanied by a chorus of ‘ooohs’ and ‘looks!’ or ‘I missed that one’ breaking through the gentle background murmur of good friends exchanging confidences and swapping jokes in the dark.
The stars, those that stayed in their place as well as the shooting ones, were beautiful. And so was the feeling of human companionship and the shared appreciation of a special night. It was a reminder for me of one of the things I love about Christian spirituality – that it’s a spirituality only properly done in communion with others. I personally love and need time alone but I also relish the companionship of a shared spiritual journey.
Look up from time to time and see the beauty singing from the skies. Look sideways often and see the beauty laughing and weeping in human faces. Look inwards now and again and see the beauty springing deep within. All three viewpoints are called for if we’re to open our eyes to behold the beauty of the divine.