Catching the Stars

“How do you catch the stars?” she asked.

The childish voice lisped the question. The little toes curled in the soft grass. The curious eyes captured the wonder of glinting diamonds flecked in a darkening sky.

But I could not answer. And so I chose to reply instead.

“You can’t catch the stars.” I buttoned my voice into my best ‘I-am-the-reasonable-adult-in-this-conversation’ tone.

“You can’t catch the stars,” I repeated. “They’re too far away. Too foreign. Too, well… too much.”

“Oh.”

And with that the conversation was closed.

But her mind was not, and she spoke again into the velvety darkness.

“But I meant how do YOU catch the stars. Because… sometimes… I come outside at night just to catch them.”

There was no condemnation in her tone. No judgement of my rational disbelief. Just a calm, factual statement of impossibility.

“I see.” I really didn’t.

There was a pause while she wandered and I wondered.

“So,” I adjusted my collar to fit a ‘midly-interested-but-still-confident-in-my-superior-knowledge’ tone, and dared to return the question.

“So, how do YOU catch the stars?”

She glanced at me sideways, smiled patiently, lifted chubby fingers to twirl in the silvery glow.

“I catch the stars with my hands.”

And with that she was off, skipping through the inky tendrils of night, dancing and giggling beneath the ebony froth of the sky, chasing and grasping and catching the stars with tiny hands of joy.

I watched. I stood, frozen on that narrow trapeze wire between logic and wonder. And as I wavered in solitary disbelief, I saw it.

A shooting star, falling from the heavens.

It fell, curving and glowing in fierce and glorious descent. Painting its blazing light across a black canvas sky. Brushing the star dust from its trail and shaking the clouds with tinkling music.

Down, down it fell; closer and closer still.

Its glow lit up my eyes.
Its beauty held my breath.
Its wonder lifted my hand to catch its fall.

And suddenly I was there. Lost in the moment, captured in the magic, defying the impossible and tasting its sweetness.

Catching the stars.

© Emma McGeorge, Oct 2015

 

This Is Your Moment

The phone rang.

I nearly didn’t answer from beneath the chaos of papers, pens and little coloured post-it notes shouting for attention in their rainbow voices.

But good breeding kicked in, and I made an attempt to push aside everything urgent or important or both, and graciously take the call. I secretly hoped it would not be an enquiry from a crotchety customer, or a 2-minute request that would mean a 2-hour job, or a colleague enlightening me about yet another big project to get started on as of yesterday.

It was the latter. At least for 2 seconds…

The call was from a colleague based in another country, but he had not phoned to check up on my work progress or to present me with yet another task and deadline. He had simply phoned to share a word of encouragement. To point out that the sun was shining, and that our work was important and made a difference, and that it was a good day to have a good day.

So I did. Have a good day I mean.

I was pressured and stretched and frantically chasing life’s coattails as it galloped along. But I was grinning all the way.

What made the difference? What slipped that silver lining into the clouds hovering over my sizzling keyboard? What hung a smile on my face so that I spoke to customers and received mail deliveries and took urgent phone calls with a smile?

It was that moment. The briefest of moments, and really not a very complicated or over-exerting moment.

But someone had made an effort and siezed the moment, and now the moment was mine. Because as I pondered the lightness of a few kind words and sipped a brew made sweeter by happiness, I realised something about that moment.

It was the easiest thing in the world.

All it took was someone to look up from the whirring spin of the globe and see a moment and be a moment and make a moment for someone else.

All it took was a moment.

And there is such a moment in every day, if we only have the mind to think it and the heart to act it.

That moment in which we can purposefully add a splash of sunshine to someone’s day.
That moment when we can actually call the person who’s been on our mind, and let them know, tangibly and unmistakably, that they matter.
That moment in which we can find some act, no matter how small, that makes the world a kinder, brighter place.

And then make that moment happen.

So what will you do to make that moment? How will you act it or create it or burst it unexpectedly and joyfully into someone else’s day?
Because this is it.

This is your moment.

Don’t waste it.

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Kind thanks to “Uncle” Ian McDougall who made that moment for me

© Emma McGeorge 2015