Silent Fireworks

In December, hardly any bright stars are visible after twilight. Some may think that clouds must be preventing the view.

But when the night has progressed, every year the same miracle happens. The sky fills with the brightest stars, hour by hour: Aldebaran in the Taurus, Sirius in the Big Dog, Rigel and Betelgeuse in Orion! That’s not enough: shooting stars from Gemini, at the zenith, illuminate the night. Every year, as it approaches midnight, silent fireworks happen in the sky. Christmas is a celebration of light. The German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke put it in a letter to this mother in the following words: «No Christmas has gone by without indescribable light behind my closed eyes for a second.» The stars remind us of this inner light.

Image How Beautyful Is Night, Barnabuz Chiponza, 1948. Photographed by G. Bartel at the Natinonal Art Gallery in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Translation Christian von Arnim

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