Light up the sky

8 Mar

There have been moments in this trip that have caused me to just stop, and reflect on my place in the Universe. There have been moments when the Universe (or Love, or the Divine, or God, even – you choose) has reminded me just of who I am. There’s a moment in Douglas Adams ‘Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ when Zaphod Beeblebrox is put into the Total Perspective Vortex, a device that shows you the entire universe, and you in relation to it, with a little sign that says ‘You Are Here’. Zaphod emerges from the experience unscathed and, when asked how he survived, simply said ‘I’m Zaphod Beeblebrox, man’. I feel like that, sometimes – as if the universe was created just for me to enjoy it. I feel significant, worthwhile, important, loved.. I feel as if I belong, as if I know my place in the cosmos, in this entirely crazy, jumbled, confusing, cavorting, spinning world.

(Douglas Adams is one of my favourite writers, I have loved his work ever since the radio version of HHGTG came out – and, I suspect, a minor prophet. I have a feeling that he had a connection to something incredible, some deeper truth.. even if he didn’t believe it. Adams was an atheist, and yet something of what he wrote has the authority of the voice of the Divine about it).

And there have been many moments when I have been reminded that I am loved have been when I’ve looked at the sky, and it’s as if there’s a painting there just for me. After the flood came the rainbow, a promise that never again would God send such a flood on the earth. At night time comes the sunset, a promise that the sun would rise again. And there have been so so many moments when I have been reassured that everything is OK – that my future is assured – that I am safe, and loved…

I think I have quoted the song ‘Light Up The Sky’ by The Afters, which has become one of my favourite songs since I first saw the video in church in Auckland. I love that video – it’s beautiful and moving, heartfelt and trsnsforming..and yet the video isn’t anything to do with what the song is about. Because what the song is about is the fact that, whatever happens, we are loved by someone  – that same someone who put this whole thing together…

When I’m feeling all alone, so far to go – the signs are nowhere on this road, guiding me home

When the night is closing in, it’s falling on my skin – Oh God will you come close

Light up the sky to show me, that you are with me

So I run, straight in to your arms – you’re the bright and morning sun

To show your love there’s nothing you won’t do

You’ve opened my eyes so I can see you all around me

Light up the sky to show me, that you are with me

There have been some incredible moments when I have looked at the sky and known, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am loved and that I belong. Moments where I have understood at a very deep level why I am on this adventure – and why I am on this planet. Moments when I have understood, just a little, of what a magical, wonderful, incredible world we live in – and how privileged I am to be a part of that. And I didn’t have to DO anything to experience this… all I had to do was to look up . . .

Ao Nang (27) On a beach in Ao Nang, Thailand

Luang Prabang (27) On the Mekong River near Luang Prabang in Laos

Luang Prabang (14) and again in Luang Prabang

Mekong Sunrise (1) sunrise on the Mekong near Chiang KhongMekong Sunrise (6) and again, sunset near Chiang Khong

There have been times when I have just looked up from what I am doing and realised that the world is transforming around me – that something of true beauty, transitory, yet no less glorious for that, is being created in the sky above me. Those have been moments that have stopped me in my tracks, that have caused my jaw to drop and the electric arc of wonder and of faith to spike up my spine… where I have known, with absolute, ferocious certainty, that I belong, that I am loved, and that I have a place and a destiny

Pak Beng (9) arriving at Pak Beng from the Mekong river slow boat

Chedi Phu Khao Tong (2) over the Chedi Pu Kao Tong in Chiang Mai

Grand Palace (6) at the grand palace in Atthuya

Ferry to Penang (10) sunrise on the ferry to Penang

Sunrise on the last day (12) and sunrise on the Great Barrier Reef

Sunset on the Reef (8) Sunset on the reef

Sunset on the Reef (12) and again on the GBR

Sunset from Yulara (51) In Yulara, Australian Outback

Sunset from Yulara (55) and again from the Outback

Sunrise at Asses ears (11) Sunrise at Asses Ears Ranch in the Grampian Mountains

McKenzie Falls (13) at McKenzie Falls in the Red Centre

From Mt Wellington (50) from Mt Wellington, Tasmania

Milford Sound (66)  on Milford Sound

 Milford Sound (120) and again, looking up….

Milford Sound (114) and looking across

Te Anau Glowworm trip (23) on lake Te Anau on the way to the glowworm caves

Queenstown (13) Over Queenstown lake

Sunset at McDonalds (5) Mc Donalds resort on RakiRaki, Fiji

Sunset at McDonalds (2) and again

Ferrry From Ovalau (15) sunrise on the ferry from Ovalau

Ferrry From Ovalau (22) – bringing the promise of a new start

Volivoli (11) on Volivoli beach resort

Volivoli (14) just kicking back and watching the sunset

Suva (9) and in Suva, transforming this old rusty freighter

Some of the most amazing and beautiful moments of this trip, and of my life, come when I have chosen to lift my eyes up from the ordinary, the earthbound, the usual – to lift them up to the heavens and watch God paint the sky with colour, with life, with beauty. To watch the ordinary and the commonplace be transformed by light into something so gorgeous, so amazing. To see what a true Master can do with a palette of pure light – an ever changing kaleidoscope of orange, red, yellow and blue..

Did you know that you only get a truly beautiful sunset when there are clouds in the sky? To watch the sun come out from behind a cloud, blazing light across the world. To watch the sun rise on a darkened day, to see the colour flood across the landscape, unstoppable, certain, absolute… the promise of the new day, of new opportunity.

On the bus to Havana (7) on the way to Havana, coming home…

Hostal Rocaverde (2) at the Hostal in Havana

Havana Sunset (3) and from the Malecon

Cancun Zona Hotelera (11) a simple sky in Cancun

Playa del Carmen (1) and the sky at Playa del Carmen

At Mayan House (1) and the sky above a Mayan house

San Juan Camping 2 above the San Juan Canyon

Hike The Canyon (34) and as we descended into the Grand Canyon

Moon over Maui Komohana (1) the moon over Maui

Mauna Kea (13) and sunset over the observatory at Mauna Kea

And sometimes, it’s just painted in the sky…

– in a million lightning storms, arcing across the sky, lighting up the darkness with electrical storms that bring cooling rains and the rumble of thunder to remind us what power is truly about

– in  myriad of moments looking up at the clouds and looking at the beauty in the shapes and the patterns, in the hue and interplay of light – in the way the sun breaks through the cloud to light up the world below

– in the sparkling beauty of a sky at night, jewelled lights set in a velvet cushioned background, twinkling their promise and their opportunity, hinting at a billion worlds out there waiting to be discovered.

So how many ways has your God told you how much love there is for you this week….?


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