The Big Dipper

Baruch looking wb0
photo credit:


I sat on my swing, tilted my head back and stared at the star studded night sky. I was feeling blue as my husband had to leave on a business trip a day earlier than scheduled. Isn’t it funny how one teeny, tiny unexpected change in plans has the ability to throw us off? “But wait! I have steaks in the freezer and huge baked potatoes!” I stammered, “I didn’t think you were leaving until Monday morning…it’s right here on my calendar…IN PEN!”

I scanned the sky for my old friend, the Big Dipper, and sure enough, there he was.

Looking at the Big Dipper takes me back in time to a magical night many years ago. My family had taken the boat out and anchored off the coast of a deserted little island. The sun was setting on a day spent swimming and fishing in aquamarine water so clear you could see the kelp swaying on the bottom deep below. We begged our parents to let us sleep outside on the top deck, and after a few cocktails “under no circumstances” eventually gave way to a slurred yes.. (as it always did.) My sisters and I were cocooned deep inside our sleeping bags stretched out on hard, slick, vinyl lounges.  The lingering scent of coconut tanning oil swirled around us on a light, salty breeze.  The boat swayed back and forth ever so gently.. delicate waves slapping against its hull.  Looking up at that expansive night sky, I felt like a tiny crumb on a silver platter covered by a heavenly, star studded dome. I didn’t have to search long to find the familiar outline of the Big Dipper hanging there patiently, confidently.. like a major movie star surrounded by lessor actors. I was completely at ease as I dozed off to the strains of the Mammas and the Pappas, tinkling ice cubes and muffled laughter.

All was right in my world.

And here I was again..all these years later..tracing the outline of of that same celestial pot silently suspended in the heavens.  The Big Dipper hangs like a stoic landmark next to the carousel of my life as I spin my way through time. Its sameness makes me feel cosmically small and by extension, downsizes my problems. To me, the dipper is a visual representation of the Lord as Alpha and Omega; the omnipresent God.  With the turn of each day I eagerly search for His face.  Like a child atop a painted wooden horse going up and down, round and round, I can reach for Him, call out to Him, and  know He will always be there.

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