One of my favourite life memories is my school trip with my entire year group to Inner Mongolia.
(If you were in my year group, you’d know the exact moment this prayer refers to.)
On our only ‘camping’ night, we got to stay in yurts in the open Mongolian grasslands. After a whole day of camels, dust, no functioning toilets or plumbing, activities – we had a bonfire night where the locals performed some dances and songs for us. Maybe they did, but I honestly don’t remember.
What I do remember is that the fire was still going strong, then someone told us all to look up. And we saw an entire sky of stars that only ended where the horizon was.
It was the first time ever in my life that I saw that many stars, the first time I saw the night sky as it was intended to be seen.
As I reflect on that moment almost a decade later, I still can barely wrap my head around the fact that there were over 90 of us from all over the world (literally) gathered to be in Inner Mongolia to share that moment together. Amongst these people would be my best friends for life, my first ‘boyfriend’, my biggest fights and heartaches, friends I would reconnect with years later, friends who I’d never see again, friends I’ve forgotten. But this an afterthought.
The actual moment was imprinted on my heart as a glimpse of creation as it was originally intended to be – a communion, humans and nature reconciled.
Perhaps the memory was a beautiful coincidence; perhaps the shared moment is a miracle.