at night, if the weather is clear, with the backdrop of waves lapping at the shore, we look up and see the milky way in the night sky. it makes us feel tiny. tiny in a vast world.
we string happy lights about our home, inside and out. they are the simplest of holiday light strands, eensy white lights on green or white cords and we use them year-round. one white light alone barely lights a space, but together, a constellation of tiny bulbs, the illumination is magical. one alone. all together. it makes a big difference.
we are working in a place that is divided. the division is deeply rooted and exacerbated by stubborn attitudes and time. we must “string the stars together” to bring hope; we must “sing light in common song” to move forward. community must prevail over a schism of proportion. no place can truly be beautiful without stringing together. we have our work cut out for us.
fair isle books is one of the sweetest spots on this island. a breath of fresh air with warm ambience and overtones of the joy of learning, this little shop is owned by deb, whose heart is gigantic. outside her shop is this plaque, a snippet of a poem ‘constellation’ by wisconsin poet laureate bruce dethlefsen, a presenter at the washington island literary festival in 2013.
how fortuitous that this poet should capture in a mere 33 words the work that is to be done. we are not alone, each of us on this tiny-planet-in-the-vastness. though seemingly individually strong, we are indeed actually weak. we must link arms, act in community, string together, work collaboratively.
division doesn’t create more for each on the sides of the chasm. it creates less.
collectively, we can create boundlessly. our constellation -together- creates hope.
we have our work cut out for us.