Victor Hugo spoke of meditating under the solemn night with a million stars to inspire. He wisely explained what he called “that mysterious transaction between the infinity of the soul and the infinity of the universe.” Meditation can happen anytime, of course. But there is something about a night sky that can take us to the shores of our spirit. There we can heal the soul of its wounds.
The sight of the stars moves us to dream, to hope, to contemplate all that is both well and troublesome within us. I can survive most any day, but the night has a certain power over me. In the darkness, I can either feel content knowing all is well, or I can feel despondent wondering when the light of day will come. The night can make us fearful. Yet written on a plaque at the Allegheny Observatory are inscribed the words, “We have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”
So I want to learn to welcome the night as a more silent season of introspection and inspiration. I want to love sleepless nights, not dread them. I want to believe in the presence of God in my darkest hours.
If you find yourself dreading the night, meditate on the words of N.P. Willis, “There they stand, the innumerable stars, shining in order like a living hymn, written in light.”