July 6, 2013

We Are All the Dust of Stars. ~ Dejah Beauchamp

“Humans are genetically connected with life on Earth, chemically connected with life on other star systems and atomically connected with all matter in the universe.”

~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

What do you feel when you look up at the night sky?

Expansive? Connected? Awed?

Or do you feel unimportant? Insignificant? Small?

Or maybe all of the above?

Honestly, looking up at night, I feel small—but never insignificant. It’s hard to feel unimportant when you realize that we are made of the same stuff as those bright points of light amongst the darkness.

I definitely feel awe. And I sometimes get the feeling I’m falling, not down, but up into the night sky, almost as if it’s embracing me. In my yoga practice, I constantly strive towards that union with something larger than myself. I’ve come to find that going out in my yard at night and tilting my head back is the simplest, most achievable yoga pose there is for experiencing that kind of connection.

“We are all star stuff.” ~ Carl Sagan

The night calms me. Once, when I’d been feeling upset, worn down and wanting to escape it all, I went outside and looked up at the darkened sky. I saw the moon in the east, glowing soft and sweet at me, and Orion the Hunter in the west, his arm raised, ready to strike at any who came near.

It amused me to see those heavenly bodies on opposite sides, a celestial metaphor for my inner turmoil. The moon, the mother, the part of me that was at peace. And Orion, wanting to lash out at everything and everyone. Ready to destroy the surrounding stars.

That’s me on a bad day.

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Ever since humans developed the good sense to look up—to look beyond—we have seen images of gods and goddesses, creatures both worldly and fantastical, and built entire mythologies out of what we saw in the sky.

We navigate by the stars and steer not only our ships but even the course of our lives by what they tell us (and given the current popularity of astrology, I don’t see this trend dying out anytime soon).

“There are 100,000 times as many stars in the universe as sounds and words ever uttered by all humans who have ever lived,” says astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. That astonishes me. It overwhelms me. It makes me think “Wow.” It opens up that part of my brain that’s curious, that wants to explore, to discover, to seek.

That’s why I get excited when I see pictures sent from the rover on Mars or think about how we’ve built an actual frackin’ space station. Astronauts (and really, they’re people just like you and me, only with cooler jobs) are up there every day collecting data and performing experiments all meant to enrich our lives.

I guess I’ve always had a fascination with outer space. I was raised with both a telescope and television that included Star Trek and Star Wars, Buck Rogers and Firefly. Even my name comes from a science fiction book. I find it easy to slip into that state of wonder, to shift my gaze from “down” to “up”and let the glittering sky talk to me.

And I love that feeling–of falling up, finding my place. The pure sweetness of it, of knowing that—although the universe is bigger than big and more beautiful than our minds can even conceive—I have a place in it. We all do. We are not merely observers, but a crucial part of it, linked to each other and to all life.

It’s nice to be reminded of that once in a while.

So, here’s a video that illuminates the passage of the Milky Way across our night sky. Watch it and feel peace. It’s just you and a galaxy of wonder.


Dejah Beauchamp has had a love of words ever since she read Alice In Wonderland as a child. In addition to raising her son, she makes time to nurture her love for kundalini yoga, reading and, of course, writing. You can often find her in the kitchen, trying out new recipes, or outside at night, stargazing. She lives in New England with her husband, son and a cat named Oona, but dreams of sunnier climes.


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: via Pinterest}


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