To Wish upon a Shoot­ing Star

Country - - FRESH AIR -

THE STARS TWIN­KLE above us like tiny white lights on a Christ­mas tree. The clear night makes me want to touch the stars. I feel in­signif­i­cant yet warm, safe and loved. “That’s the Big Dip­per,” my grandma says, point­ing out what looks like con­nect-the-dots. Sud­denly, I see a bright light sail­ing to­ward the lake un­til it fiz­zles into noth­ing, like a match struck and then ex­tin­guished. “What’s your wish?” Grandma asks.

I wish this night could last for­ever.

Hours pass as quickly as the me­te­ors fall like fire­works, il­lu­mi­nat­ing the deep black sky. It’s as if they know ex­actly where to fall, on cue. The sky fi­nally calms down. My eye­lids be­gin to droop. I can feel how late it is. On Christ­mas morn­ing that year, I find the tini­est jew­elry box un­der Grandma’s tree. In­side is my first “real” neck­lace. The charm dan­gling from the chain is a cres­cent moon with a smil­ing face. The tiny di­a­mond perched at the bot­tom looks like a fall­ing star. Grandma winks at me be­cause we know the se­cret.

KELLEEN AIRHART Cary, Illi­nois

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