“There isn’t much of a difference between the rapid changes of a seven year old body and ten times that age,” the old man ponders.
“Sir, do we become stars when we die?” There’s an urgency in his question through the half-grown front teeth.
“When I was a young lad your age, I was always curious to learn about the unknown. I see myself in you young man.” contemplating a lifetime.
“You said you’re an astrologist, sir? I have a question - ” And just in case the man forgot the question: ''do we turn back into stars when we die?”
“Oh yes, the question. How I wish I had known the answer earlier.”
The boy keeps his focus on the ball under his feet, avoids eye contact in an effort not to distract the old man’s thought process.
“Lad, do you know that we’re all made of stardust?”
“Yes, I know that, sir., but…”
“But the difference between us and the stars are the percentage of oxygen we hold and for stars the radiance of light .”
“But when we die…sir, you said you studied thousands of stars, but have you ever seen a face?”
The old man nods, a smile lines his unspoken excitement.
“I have never been dead so I can’t tell for sure, but what I know is that we mustn’t wait to die to show off our consistency.”
The boy’s disappointed grows by the minute fuelled by the old man’s inability to simply answer a yes or no. He spins the ball on the tip of his finger, gets from the bench.
“We can easily forget about the sparkles inside others when we don’t pay attention to the vibration of all energy fields. We get all mixed up with life and science and forget to reflect in each other the brilliance that are such a unique quality to stars and us.”
“My teacher said self-care is very important to practice, sir.”
“True, but there was a time that I became so important that the ones I dearly loved blamed me for thinking I’m the Milky Way. I forgot how many stars it takes to be one of the many constellations in the galaxy.”
“In mindfulness club I learned that we have to love ourselves so that we can love others.”
“… or from what we are, a speckle of stardust.”
The man falls into silence satisfied that two souls had just caught up in a moment of blissful exchange.
“Be careful when you step outside, sir.”
“Why’s that? In case you haven't noticed, I am outside, sitting on this bench confessing to you in the hopes that you’ll remember our conversation and reflect your star quality throughout your life in an earthly way.”
The boy points his finger at the pristine sky.
“The stars are always with us, sir. Like you said, they’re always in the galaxy. Make sure that you don’t stumble when you step outside into the dark, when the stars shine at their brightest.”
The boy bounces the ball towards the net, the old Man fingers the keys in his pocket before he strolls into the sunset.