By Melissa Wynn

Beautiful hands and the stars

Before mankind spent so much time staring at television, computer and cell phone screens, the sky was all the rave. Our ancestors based our calendar on the movement of the heavenly bodies and the time of day was estimated by the sun’s position in the sky. My clock and calendar are on my cell phone. The sun, moon and stars were long used as the main tools of navigation over land and sea all over the globe.  These days we depend on the GPS screen. Many ancient structures such as the Great Pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge were constructed perfectly to capture such events as the rising sun on the summer solstice, leaving in stone proof of the important role the sky has played in the lives of man since the dawn of time.   Stargazing entertained for eons before our screens kept the common man from taking the time to look up.  Many of the constellations have long been said to influence life and luck. I was born under the sign of Pisces but am ashamed to admit that I haven’t the faintest idea where to find the Piscean constellation in the night sky. I just read my horoscope on a computer screen. I can still find the big and little dippers but my knowledge of  star location ends there. What a shame! It seems I rarely look up at the night sky unless the evening news reports a meteor shower, eclipse or other celestial phenomenon that peaks my interest. We should be wishing on falling stars we saw just by chance, like those from long ago who started the tradition. I can easily picture in my mind’s eye, ancient men and women lying hand in hand on a hillside, staring into the heavens and contemplating the meaning of the universe. Our busy modern lives could use more of this simple contemplation. Stargazing is probably one of the most peaceful and effortless ways to reconnect with the universe.  It’s a fine way to spend some quality time with our youngsters who came into this world with the screens already in place. Perhaps we can all learn to find the constellations together one cloudless night at a time, and rekindle our curiosity of what lies beyond.