|courtesy of nasaimages.org|
It was November 17, 1998. Before midnight. The sky was clear, the air chilly. I stood alone in the veranda in front of my bedroom, my eyes sky-bound, aiming at Leo constellation. In the dead of night, when everyone in our house was fast asleep, I waited alone, shivering. My gaze never strayed from my target constellation.
In a moment, a bright streak zipped across the sky. My heart leaped in excitement. It came at last! The Leonid meteor shower. No, not just a shower, but a storm, fireballs of comet debris raining down to earth. From that first shooting star came a succession of meteors shooting out in every direction, their sizes much enlarged than the ordinary shooting stars, their brightness accentuated with greenish, bluish, pinkish and yellowish hues. In a single minute, I spotted about two to five long streaks, unaware that the part of the sky hidden from my view by the roof of our house was also being adorned with several of them. It was only when I climbed over the roof that I found this out, at a time when dawn had almost ascended, about 4:00 a.m. All night, there were hundreds of them lighting up the night sky, each luminous trail washing me all over with a pleasant glow, and painting a unique and delightful picture in my mind. The sensation that such memory evoked still keeps flowing through me veins, sending up warmth to my heart.
I stayed up all night, not wanting to leave that awe-inspiring panorama which is just a rare occurrence. I quivered in the icy coldness of dawn and in pure delight and excitement for witnessing that one of the wonders of God's creations. It is a celestial vista that is forever etched in my heart.
I don't know how many more chanced upon that meteor shower or any others before, but I'm sure that those who have been fortunate to witness such heavenly phenomenon experienced the thrill of seeing that marvel of creation, and they have a clearer picture of the analogy that I'm going to make.
Just imagine, hundreds of shooting stars in a single night! Which would also mean hundreds of chances to make wishes, as they said. But that's fairy tale, and so I didn't make wishes. And I didn't need to, because to me, each meteor or shooting star represents every wish of mine granted, every prayer answered and every pleasant little thing that I received.
The dark sky represents my life in its dismal state, when I see things in black and gray. But that darkness is illuminated whenever I fix my eyes on those bright sparks in my life - the cornucopia of blessings that have been poured upon me, never losing sight of them but always keeping them before my eyes. When darkness of adversities and intense loneliness would swallow me up, I would take off the cloth draped over the painting that is in my mind and review the delightful picture once again.
All the blessings that I accumulated throughout my whole life are still there, not blotted out at all. There are the happy memories I have with my family, the caring friends who never stopped believing in me, the sincere smiles shot at me. I also have my hobbies and jobs that were well-accomplished and duties well-performed. Then there's the soothing beauty of nature, the "intergalactic journeys" I had with my bosom friend, the thoughtful cards from friends, appreciations and commendations I received, the beaming faces of those I tried to comfort and encourage, my collection of cute little things. I also treasure the daily spiritual, physical and material provisions from our loving Creator, and thousands of other blessings, making up the meteoric blazes that embellished the night sky.
Reliving the memories associated with those lovely things that are mine is like looking at that heavenly painting once again, where darkness is pushed in the background and light takes over. But even with the backdrop of darkness, it is still a lovely picture, one that is painted indelibly, not in the sky, but in my heart. And it brightens up my whole life.