I stepped out of the cabin to get a feel of the night. It was a soft summer night just after the solstice. There was no moon, but all the summer stars were shining overhead in the clearing made by the roadway. Even in the restricted space in front of the cabin, I could see brilliant stars, even a planet. I knew that a short walk would take me out from under the trees, where the sky would be full of more stars and planets. No doubt the Milky Way would also show above the trees.
But then I looked downhill toward the stream and my heart leapt with delight. For fireflies were everywhere, from the ground to the tops of the trees, winking in and out. Every one of them burned as bright as the brightest stars in the sky. There in the dark before the trees, it was as if I had been caught up into the heavens, or perhaps that the heavens had descended and filled the earth with stars.
And I thought of Charles Williams’ poetry:
In the third heaven the stones of the waste glimmer like summer stars.
It was a moment of grace. God had vouchsafed me a glimpse of something. My sad and reflective mood from earlier in the evening was replaced – or at least, challenged. I remembered Julian of Norwich. Dame Julian knew what Williams knew:
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.