Last night was mild, the air was still and the sky crystal clear. Just after midnight, cheers and music was streaming from a concert given at the Clamshell next to the Rock Gym. Celebrating surviving another year, people just happy to be alive, warm, fed and with friends.
Orion glittering as he strode across the sky with his bright belt and glittering sword. The Pleiades gleam blue as I wonder about their stories. There is a smell of charred wood in the air perhaps drifting in from the country side although wood here is so limited.
It is easy to be distracted as I look for other constellations in the night sky, reminding me of a conversation long ago with with a couple members of the Heidelberg congregation. Ben (Romer) was speaking of when he was deployed during DS/DS and telling his children to look up at the night sky and know that they were sharing something so magnificent with their father. They could be connected.
I thought about that again this morning as I sat outside the USO hoping to stay online long enough to finally get “Wait Wait” downloaded before the old episodes fall off their website and iTunes. I heard a SGT talk with her family in New York as they watched the ball drop at Time Square. Outside, the city lights were overwhelming the heavens but she had her peace for sharing with them. Her calls to Atlanta went just as well.
A transportation specialist, she just relocated here from a distant FOB. She loves her new job. Instead of just her children and family at home – she now has four units of soldiers to care for as the LNO. I think they are lucky, these soldiers arriving and leaving at the main base to have such a mom, a good NCO who is meeting the planes, rounding up her people, making sure that they have places to stay, know where to eat, how to call home and ensuring that they are where they need to be for onward movement. Her personnel will never be in the situation as those two young soldiers arriving from Kandahar on Wed morning with no idea where to go and who to see.
We talked about the old days in the Army, of barracks, CQs and always knowing where to find responsible and supportive people. Finishing up quickly, she headed over to the terminal after hearing a flight announcement. It wasn’t one of hers, but she was checking anyway, just to make sure that all the soldiers had assistance.
Thinking back to the sky last night, know that my family can see Orion, the Pleiades, the other stars from our terrace in Heidelberg. Perhaps from a different angle, but then we all look at the world from a differently. I think as long as we look at the same stars, can see our small place in the cosmos and do our share, we can make this a better world in the coming year.