t’s the stars. They’re winking at me through my closed shutters. I lean closer to the cold sill, pulling up the shades. The night is still. Besides for a lone owl’s hoot, there is nothing but silence. The inky sky is dazzling. It’s the stars. A chill runs through my bones. My teeth chatter.
It’s the stars, in a splendid show of light. They’re absolutely glittering with promise, sparkling with an extraordinary luster. They’re almost… smiling. I can nearly see the corners of their mouths tug warmly. And they’re reassuring, somehow. Every night anew, they shine.
It’s their splendor. And yet… there’s such a small light emanating from them. A sudden gust of air makes the blinds shake. I know the window shouldn’t be open now. Yet I can’t resist the cool night air slapping against my face.
Little star, tell me. How? How do you have the courage to emerge every night once again? Aren’t you deterred by your small twinkle? Don’t you wish you could shine so much brighter?
Like me. I’m a small nobody. What difference can I make in my current situation? There’s just so much to do. I’ll never be done. Household duties, social duties, dance head duties. Why should I even start?
Yet you do. Despite your smallness, you light up the night. You’re shrouded amongst the shadows, concealed behind the silhouettes, forlorn, standing alone. Confronted by the challenge of shining and glowing, illuminating. Faced with the daunting task of dazzling and glistening and winking. Yet you staunchly brave the winds, break through the clouds, shimmer with promise.
Shine, my stars, shine.
And if you can, maybe I can too. I hug my knees thoughtfully. Hashem presented me with these challenges. He most certainly provided me with the strength to live through them. Not just survive. Live. And be happy. And accepting. Which I have to admit, I wasn’t. I was like a toddler, kicking and screaming. I had convinced myself into thinking that I was totally fine. But my behavior certainly didn’t reflect that. What were Ayelet’s words?
I am transported to the dark lab, the silent hum of computers breaking the stillness. Ayelet is hovering near me, groping for the right words.
“You are not doing anybody a favor by sitting here like this. Not Uncle Dani, not your mother, not yourself. And certainly not me. You’re just wallowing in your misery.”
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 798)