there’s this old joke about the Lone Ranger and Tonto that goes like this:
The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. After they got their tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep.
Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, “Kemo Sabe, look towards sky, what you see?”
The Lone Ranger replies, “I see millions of stars.”
“What that tell you?” asked Tonto.
The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute then says, “Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.
Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning.
Theologically, the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant.
Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.
“What’s it tell you, Tonto?”
Tonto replies, “It tells me Lone Ranger dumber than buffalo poop! It means someone stole the tent.”
but i’m fine even if i’m without the tent. sometimes, it’s nice being under the sky, just staring at it and the little ‘creatures’ that ‘live’ in it. here in Manila there’s a lot of ‘noise’ from the lights in buildings and houses and street lights so you see just a few stars. the brightest ones, usually those that form major constellations such as the Big and Little Dippers, the signs of the zodiac, Pegasus (not the one on Q. Ave), Orion, etc. but in Pampanga, or any other less urban areas, you see even more stars! you might even get a hint of a galaxy if you look closely at some parts that don’t exactly shine like stars but are bright ‘clouds’ of some sort. it’s a peaceful respite where all things are quiet, in order, and you can look at them and stare at them in silence and be amazed at their beauty.
i like staring at the big vast space beyond our reach. and even (still) beyond our absolute comprehension. it’s a place where i feel at home and at the same time, i get the feeling of insignificance, that i am but just one speck. and this is where i agree with the Lone Ranger. that the stars have mystified us all. that there are possibilities of other worlds out there, and a lot of other things to be discovered. that they are a ‘sign’ of a Greatness that is bigger than ourselves.
it’s comforting, mesmerizing, and humbling. given that i’m prepared for the long hours of being awake, there’s no place i’d rather be than under a clear, dark sky beneath the great stars above me.