TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR: A CHILD'S WONDER

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Paul Schroeder's picture
"Daddy? What's "Twinkle, twinkle, little star", mean?
 
Every night, was another question, one that was sometimes designed to delay bedtime, but every so often one of a childlike philosophical cosmology. 
 
"So, it's twinkle, twinkle, is it?" I asked her to recite it to me, and she did.
 
"How I wonder, what you are, huh?"
 
"Get ready for bed and I'll tell you."
 
"My child, listen, carefully, and you shall know, what very few children or even many adults, don't know."
 
"Are you under the blanket?"
 
"Ready?"
 
Because this is something, that most people do not think about, or even know, but here's an answer, that you must remember."
 
"Do you especially want, to be really smart?"
 
A nod of a head, with a thumb inserted.
 
"We are on a ball , called a 'planet', one that is traveling more than 1,000 miles an hour, as it revolves and turns , and we are also on this planet, traveling 67,000 miles an hour, straight forward, into space, around our sun."
 
"Why, daddy?"
 
"So that we stay stuck on the planet's surface, like water in a pail, that you swing overhead, water that stays in the pail, so you, like the water, don't float up and away, into space, from your bed."
 
"Children who are under their blankets and tucked in, are much too safe and too heavy to fly away like that; are you tucked in, well?"
 
A settled scramble of pillow and blankets.
 
"Tell me, daddy."
 
"The stars in your eyes, the ones that twinkle, overhead are, my child, an illusion, a make-believe trick of the eye, because you're really seeing the far dim past, the way the Universe used to appear, many, many eons ago, light-years' gone long ago, stars whose lights are likely since extinguished, winked out, only now, invisible ghosts, in the blackness of space."
 
"Very many, that you see, now, are no longer there."
 
"But their lights, sent out before them, yet still travel, to now reach us."
 
"Twinkling stars above, which likely no longer exist, but, which we still see, happen as a trick of the Universe, because their lights are much slower, just still reaching us, so instead, we look up to see a window clear photo of the skies, the way they, the skies, looked, many, big dinosaur eons ago."
 
"Sleepy child?" 
 
"Huh, daddy?"
 
Do you think you can remember what answer I gave to your bedtime question?"
 
A shake of the head, no, then fast followed, by a nod.
 
"Always look behind things, that you see, to get at real answers, or more real reasons, whether it's a dream, a broken car engine, or even the stars that shine in our Universe."
 
"Twinkle, twinkle's poem, is a most beautiful  question, because  curiosity and wonder is almost everything, to a mind's life."
 
"But grownups, mostly lose their wonder," I said.
 
"My child, but most of all remember to always have wonder, about illusions, that might seem real, but that only point to another more real, reality."
 
Now, your mind will never dim, unlike a star, when you grow into a super smart citizen of the Universe."
 
"Sleep well, and get up well."
 
"You, too, daddy"
 
"Now, like a star...LIGHTS OUT."
 
Author's note:
 
My childhood family wasn't fuzzy, safe and warm, close knit and cohesive as mine is now; back then, my family, was more like a loose tour group... with secrets.
 

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