As stars go, of course it is rather nondescript, small, middle aged stuck in a distant corner of a not all that impressive galaxy.
Yet each morning it sweeps the sky storing all of its kin, even the biggest and brightest, into its own celestial closet where they will remain locked away until it decides it needs a rest and lets them return to once again paint the sky.
It never rained when I visited Senso-ji and Todai-ji Temples. I attributed this to good fortune, the Buddha clearing the skies for my visit. The young monk said the Buddha cares nothing for weather, so I should thank the Japan Meteorological Agency although they never seem to give him the weather he truly wants.
Lie back, I said to her, just stare up that way stare into the sky without any clear focus. Do you see him now, the hunter with his bow outstretched, the belt cinched about his waist locked in his eternal search for the prey that would free him from his nightly quest. And there, I pointed can you see the great bear gamboling with her child or there a goddess reclining on her heavenly throne. Now she said, that’s not it at all, not even close, look over there, don’t you see a small child crying out for her mother, and there, two lovers locked in an eternal embrace, their lips barely touching, hips pressed together reclining as one, and there, clear as day a cat lying curled as though sleeping in the warmth of a hearth.
There is nothing like, no words to adequately describe, that moment when a cloud- hazed sun lingers wishfully just above the horizon, grasping the sky with brilliant talons of light, fearing becoming lost in a darkness that will, on this night of the new moon, engulf us all in its inky shroud.
We know, or pray, the sun will return in hours, just as the sun knows its work is never done so long as it has light to give, hoping that final collapse is eons away.
As it finally settles beyond sight, we smile, retreat to the table and consume our dinner and wine, our daily companion forgotten until its dawning return.