Sunday, August 14, 2011


We sit outside on the porch everynight. It's our favourite time of day. We sit on our broken down old couch and light a fire to crackle in front of us . We face north and at a certain time in the evening, a bright star moves her way up over the roof top in front of us. We have watched her move through the sky, and she's been appearing earlier and earlier each night. We always comment when we see her - 'our star'.

Thanks to the magic of the internet and the iPhone, we found out a little more about our star. I used my Pocket Universe app and we tracked the night sky above us, then we googled and found her story. It's beautiful, and her name is Vega.

She is the brightest star in the constellation of Lyra, and will be the North Star in about 12,000 years. Vega was also the first star other than the Sun, to be photographed and the first to have her spectrum recorded. All interesting facts, if you're into astronomy. But I'm not quite so easily pleased. I wanted to know about her mythology. I found several versions, but the one that seemed to draw me in more was her Chinese love story. In this version, Vega is separated from her lover, Altair, and their children, and can only be reunited once a year in mid-summer. On this day each year the magpies build them a bridge, and across this, they meet each other through the Milky Way.

We've ruminated on Vega's story for a while now, and we look forward to seeing her each night and reminding ourselves of the power of destiny. Just the other night though, as we realised our visits from Vega were going to soon end, we noticed another brighter star appearing below her, rising in almost the same place. This star is Deneb. He is the brightest star in the constellation of Cygnus, and he is 60,000 times more luminous than our Sun. More significantly though, Deneb is the star that marks the magpie bridge that allows Vega and Altair to be reunited on that one night a year! The story was coming to life right in front of us.

So tonight, on the eve of my beloved's departure, as we watch the full moon rise in it's golden glory, and await the arrival of Vega and Deneb, we ponder on where he will find them in his part of the sky - 10,000 miles away from here. I know how Vega feels when she is separated from Altair, and I'm getting sad realising that I need to feel that way again for a little while.

I just need to remember his perfect words to me last night...

"Baby, it doesn't matter where we are, we can find each other in the stars".