Photograph and painting by Lisa Shambrook (please do not use)
Author: Lisa Shambrook
Dedication: With love to all who learn they can and should shine brightly...
The Star Shone Brightly
Orion stretched languidly across the sky, winking at Danica or anyone else who might be admiring him, as he adjusted his sword and hitched his belt. Danica’s eyes darted away as her luminosity flared in sudden embarrassment. She curled her lip and her shimmer dulled as she slouched in melancholy.
Far below, the earth all green and blue, slowly spun, swathed in cotton-wool clouds, and Danica sighed. She was surrounded by twinkling stars, huge constellations of them, but she felt invisible.
She didn’t stretch across the night like Orion, was nobody’s first point of reference like the North Star, and didn’t hang glittering like the Southern Cross. She had no vast reach like the Great Bear and failed to shine like Sirius.
Danica’s gleam dulled and her sparkle was lost. The only thing that glistened was the tear that rolled down her cheek.
She didn’t notice the kerfuffle that arose with the entrance of Virgo. She just moped behind Little Bear, until Little Bear whispered excitedly. “Virgo’s looking for a new star…Spica and her sisters are exploring the Galaxy!”
“What for?” asked Danica, peering forward as glitter erupted in showers across the sky.
Little Bear shrugged. “They’re not saying…”
Danica eased slowly out of her hiding place and strained her ears to listen.
“I’ll go,” boomed Orion, “I’m courageous and I’ll mark your place for you!”
“We’re good!” chorused Castor and Pollux, “Two for the price of one!”
Below them Draco roared. “If you want a real star…”
Spica twirled, shimmering in her sapphire robes, and shook her head. “It won’t work, you’re all too recognisable. No Hercules, it’s just not going to happen! We don’t need arrogance; we need humility, something new…”
Spica and her sisters sparkled and dazzled Danica as they swept across the blanket of indigo, dancing in and out of constellations, leaving a trail of glitter and restlessness in their wake. Danica stared after them, watching their effervescent cascade with eyes of envy.
The heavens stretched far and wide and the little star gazed as Virgo searched, hunting out the lesser known stars. She had no grand ideas and tucked herself back behind Little Bear, out of the way.
“I wonder what they’re looking for then?” wondered Little Bear, “Something new, something new’s happening. Look Danica, they’re coming back this way…you should show yourself…”
“I can’t,” protested the little star, “I’m nothing.”
Virgo swooped past Cassiopeia and as Spica swung by she noticed Little Bear kick a little star from behind him. Spica turned her head, sprinkling sparks as she came to a stop, and the little star tumbled down towards her. Danica sprawled before the beauty and her cheeks flushed again with hot, white light. She crawled backwards whilst offering apologies, until Spica leaned down and smiled. “And who are you?” she asked.
Danica gulped, her iridescence dancing in an aura of pure light. “I’m no one,” she whispered.
“No one?” Spica smiled softly, “You’re not no one, you’re the one we’re looking for.”
Little Bear grinned as his shy friend straightened her sparkling skirts and stared in wonder at the majestic constellation surrounding her. The sisters gathered Danica in their celestial arms and swept her off her feet. “You’re the one,” Spica whispered in her ear, “the one who can change the world. Now hurry away with us.”
Several days later, a new star hung in the sky dressed in lustrous shimmering robes, only she wasn’t a new star and she didn’t have any new clothes. Danica sparkled and scintillated lighting a dark, inky sky, and three wise travellers used instruments to plot and follow her glowing trail. Whilst they journeyed, she shone with effulgence and guided both angels and shepherds, and glistened with everything she’d got, as a newborn cry rose from the stable heralding change in the world below.
And all around stars twinkled and gleamed, but none shone as brightly and as joyfully as she.