Sunday, January 8, 2017

"Oh, Oh, Star of Wonder...."


I took the photo atop today's entry from the vantage point of a NYC street, after seeing the fireworks display in Central Park this past on New Year's Eve which was last Saturday!

You might recognize this star as I referenced it in a prior entries here on in 2011 as well as in 2012. These posts included the following pictures of this same star.



The images above feature images taken from the vantage point of the dearly departed Peggy Wood,


who edited the iBook version of Cam's book, Words In Our Beak, which is dedicated to her. She died seven months before the book was placed in Apple's iTunes and iBook's stores. Now it's also available in ePub format on Amazon.


But I digress! Getting back to the star that can be seen from the street, as well as from the window of Peggy Wood's apartment; here's what I wrote about it in 2011:  "My neighbor (Peggy Wood or PW) lives in a studio apartment on the top floor of a building that is a few doors west of me and her window (where she has a small indoor garden of succulents) faces south. It looks directly into a window where someone has hung a star. The star, we once speculated, was hung in honor of the Epiphany..."

However, in 2012, PW shared a story with me that was related to the star that she observed from her window every New Year's Eve; and I included it within a post on Blogger:

PW described it this way, "on New Year's Eve, guests enter the apartment (with the star in the window); and (they) immediately take of their clothes. Then close to midnight, they put their clothes back on, place lights on their head and go out to Central Park [which is near by] to watch the celebration of (the annual) fireworks; and after the fireworks are over, they return to the apartment and take off their clothes again . . . "

In the entry I've just referenced  I also stated: "The aforementioned fireworks occur in conjunction with the Midnight Run every New Year's Eve. I usually attend the event in Central Park with friends and ...  I know nothing about the New Year's Eve comings and goings of the tenants who live in the apartment that has the window with the star, but I will say, it sounds like PW's succulents have a much more exciting view from her front window than mine have from my rear window!"

I ultimately encountered the folks who attended this party on New Year's Eve 2014. PW had died that morning; so I had made a dinner for her brother and his wife to enjoy before they headed off to the fireworks. They live in California and had never seen the annual extravaganza. After our dinner and viewing the fireworks, we parted ways for the night. However, I was very sad re PW's passing and wanted to reach out and talk with others, but it was late; and as I walked home, I tried to recall someone who might be awake and able to talk with me. I looked up in the sky and saw the star in the window, and thought of these lyrics:

" . . . O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light . . . "

I followed the direction of it, and entered the building that had a star in the window! That is when I encountered the folks who attended this party. I wanted to do the reverse look into PW's window and imagine her, reading manuscripts and taking in the folks of the apartment that had a star in their window. One of the guests ushered me out. The following year,  New Year's Eve of 2015; there was no star in their window! Therefore, I was glad to see the star on this past New Year's Eve of 2016. I gazed at that star and took the photo which is at the top of this entry as well as directly below.


Notice that the man who put up the star has now covered the surrounding area of the window, this is something that he did not do in bygone years, as evidenced in the second photo of this entry. And, dear reader, if you are wondering why I've chosen today to write about this NYC star, it is because, January 8th 2017, is when The Feast of the Epiphany is being celebrated. It is also the day when the aforementioned hymn will be sung among those who celebrate this feast.

I'll end these musings by sharing what Micheal Sean Winters writes re this matter: "The star of Epiphany is a light, and light reveals what has been dark. But, in the hymn we all sing this feast day, the star is first pronounced a "star of wonder." Before we Christians look to human nature, before we shine the light of the Gospel onto human nature to see what it discloses about our ethical demands, stop and inculcate a sense of wonder and awe. That, for me, is what Epiphany is all about and I wish you all a, literally, wonderful feast. "

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