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TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR

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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 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 few children know."

"Are you under the blanket?"

"Ready?"

Because this is something most people do not think about or even know, but here's an answer you must remember."

"Do you want to be really smart?"

A nod of a head with a thumb inserted.

"We are on a ball , called a 'planet', that is traveling more than 1,000 miles an hour, as it revolves and turns , and we are also traveling 67,000 miles an hour, straight forward, into space, around the 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 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, 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 eons ago, light-years' long ago, stars whose lights are since extinguished, winked out, ghosts in the blackness of space."

"Very many are no longer there."

"But their lights, sent out before them, yet still travel to reach us."

"Twinkling stars above, which likely no longer exist, but, which we still see, happen as a trick, because their light is slower, just still reaching us, so instead we look up to see a window clear photo of the skies, the way they 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 followed by a nod.

"Always look behind things to get at real answers or real reasons whether it's a broken car engine or the stars that shine in our Universe."

"Twinkle, twinkle's poem is a beautiful question, because curiosity and wonder is almost everything, in a mind's life."

"But grownups mostly lose their wonder,"I said.

"My child, but most of all remember to have wonder about illusions, that only point to another reality."

Now, your mind will never dim 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!"

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TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR: WHAT TO TELL A CHILD'S WONDER
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