Under the vastness of the open and endless starlit night sky, a yellow lab looks to her owner. She smiles and pants with anticipation and excitement to run and play. He removes her leash and away the pup will run.
This man will look to the sky and in silent wisdom cry. His respect for the mystery and omniscience of the universe knows no limits.
He is clad in preppy gentlemanly attire. His worn leather loafers lead to pressed khaki pants, within which is tucked a neat blue button-up buttoned down cotton shirt. He wears practical frames to hold his lenses, for they serve only the task to aid in vision. Quite unpretentious, and perfectly wholesome. His silver hair has known the same shape and comb since he was a boy.
He raises his smoking pipe to his mouth and puffs a bit and searches the stars for his father.
Behind him, stands his own son. Naivety, curiosity, nervousness, and bewilderment possess his son who scratches at his own head.
The man then turns to face his troubled son, whose shoulders hold the weight of thought.
The son looks up and into his father’s eyes, and can only shake his head and shrug, placing his hands into his pockets.
The father then places his hand onto his son’s shoulder and speaks.
“My ol’ pal, my son, seek out those minds that will keep you challenged. Those who can also in humility validate your thoughts. The intelligent will earn your time, the brave will earn your respect, but the truest of gentlemen will earn your heart and mind.”
“How will I know who those people are Dad?”
“Look up to the stars and tell me what you see.”
“Well, I see a lot of stars.”
“And, what do they make you feel? What do they tell you?”
“Dad, you’re a scientist, I thought all that spiritual palaver was for those who cannot think independently”.
“Oh no ol’ pal, quite the opposite. I am a scientist, yes, but I am also completely aware of how little I know, how little I am.”
“You’re the smartest man I know Dad.”
“Son, then look again up to those stars. Billions of burning balls of gas, and some of the light we perceive as stars, is the light left over from stars that have already vanished millions of years ago. But there is more to the sky than gas, and endless floating matter ol’ pal. I believe that my father is in those stars. When I come outside at night with the dog, it is the time I can take to have a conversation with him. I ask him questions, and listen for the answers.
You see ol’ pal, I work each day to find a way to better the world, and often I am met by a roadblock. So I keep at it, even as I sit in my chair watching the news, I am always inventing and thinking. Business is the medicine to overthought, and depression.
But every so often I feel at odds with myself. Much in the way that you do now. We find ourselves in a world of linear duality, a constant self-argumentative quest for answers.
It is easy to feel bogged down with this level of thought.
So out here, I can be insignificant. Out here I am small. It’s all a matter of prospective.
I am one man among approximately seven billion humans. We are one species among 8.7 million known species on our planet. This is one planet among the Milky Way, which holds an approximate 100 billion others. And ours is just one galaxy among 200 billion galaxies.
I can take comfort in my smallness. Yet, as I am doing that, I am reminded that not everyone can feel okay in being simply one part of a collective. Some have an intrinsic need to feel more and more important, and more and more powerful.
So, I know that by standing here, I am humbled by the epic, titanic, infinite, omnipotence of the universe, and by that same token I am gifted enough intelligence to be aware of what that means.
My son, your mother and I are always on your side, are always right here, and will always love you no matter what.”
The young man stands in awe of this own father, and can only take a deep breath, look back to the stars and shed a tear to the illustrious universe.
The father smiles, and resumes his conversation with his own father, and conclusively admits,
“Be me a dreamer accused Dad, I confess, I profess, and I yearn”.
The yips of the yellow lab then usher the father and son towards the house.
“Good girl Cleo,” says the son to the pup,
“We’re the luckiest aren’t we?”
The son and pup look at the father who labors his way across the patio with a smile upon his face.