Stars have always played an important part in my relationship with my husband.
When we first began courting, he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, putting a 14 to 15 hour time difference between us, depending on whether or not Daylight Savings was being observed here in the United States.
He first asked me to be his on July 7th, during the celebration of Tanabata. The story resonated with us, since we were divided by an ocean, and so Tanabata took a special place in my heart.
When he came to visit me for the first time, we spent a night watching a meteor shower next to a lake, out in the country, where there were no streetlights to dim the view. Having grown up in the country, I was used to seeing the stars like that, infinite pinpricks of light, as far as the eye can see, nestled in a sky that’s inky-blue instead of black. Living in the city, I often miss the stars.
A month before we married, I presented my husband with the gift of a star. I’d named a star for each of us through the International Star Registry, located near Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo. There was a reason for that, as lions are another thing that carry symbolism for us, but that’s another story for another day.
The stars fit well with my love of the night sky and my husband’s interest in space. Unsurprisingly, our three-month-old daughter seems to share a love of stars. Shortly after she was born, we received a gift from our neighbors, a firefly nightlight that projects the stars and a crescent moon onto the ceiling and walls. Needless to say, she loves it, and hearing her gasp in delight when we turn it on at bedtime always warms my heart. We lay together as a family, pointing out constellations to her and sharing our stories about the stars, hoping her interest in them will continue to grow alongside her.
As far as fiction goes, there’s usually not a lot of attention directed to the sky, unless you’re reading science fiction. I’ve never understood the lack of developed astronomy in fantasy books, something I’ve greatly enjoyed writing into my stories. I’m presented with the option of creating a whole new world, after all, and painting an interesting picture of the night sky is as important to me as depictions of the world’s topography.
If you were given the chance to create a sky of your own, what might you make it look like?