Twinkle, twinkle, little star. How I wonder what you are.

universe-1044107_1920After consulting with experts, thoughtful consideration, additional research, and the ever foolproof method of flipping coins and getting heads two out of three times, I’ve decided the lyrics to this popular children’s song should be altered. I know, it’s like rewriting The Star Spangled Banner or Jesus Love Me.

Sorry, it can’t be helped. The song was written in 1806 so it’s over 200 years old now. The lyrics obviously aren’t working. The revised version will start like this…

Twinkle, twinkle, little star. How I wonder where you are.

Let me explain how I got here.

One of my favorite ways to pass the time is sitting on our deck, enjoying a glass of wine after a long day and gazing at the stars. To me, it’s just mesmerizing to be there relaxing and pondering the great mysteries of life…

Is Bigfoot real? Is there life beyond our galaxy? Did I set the DVR to record Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday? Do we have more wine?

Yes, much is accomplished sitting on my deck staring at the sky. However, a few years back while on vacation my best friend Bob attempted to ruin this simple activity for me. It had been a long day and we retired to the deck to finish the evening with a nightcap or two. We were staying in Virginia along the mountains in the Shenandoah Valley. The night was pitch black with not a cloud in the sky. The view was breathtaking of the stars and the moon. I was basking in the moment surrounded by the glory of the spectrum before us when Bob changed my life forever by uttering,

“You know, they aren’t really there.”

“What’s not there?” I say trying to remember if this was a continuation of a previous conversation I had zoned out of.

“The stars,” he said. “What you’re seeing is just an illusion.”

Bob is my best friend. He is from England, and I consider him a very intelligent person. He is after all, educated, prominent in corporate America… and he has an accent. He must be smart. I guess he noticed me looking at him with an expression of disbelief, or perhaps wine stupor… maybe both. He went on to explain how it takes light so long to travel to the earth that by the time it gets here and you see the starts… they actually have moved.

Needless to say, this threw a monkey wrench into my gazing at the stars moment. Composing myself after refilling my wine glass I asked,

“Then what are we looking at?”

“Well,” Bob continued in a matter of fact tone, “You’re looking at where the stars used to be. In fact, thy ay not exist at all anymore.”

My night was shattered. From that point on, whenever my wife and I are sitting on our deck, I look up into the heavens I find myself saying,

“Oh look at the stars… Of course, they aren’t really there.”

I’m sure Bob feels just terrible about spoiling this for me. First Santa Claus, then the Tooth Fairy, and now this. What’s left? Thank goodness we ran out of wine before he tried to suggest pro wrestling was fake.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star. How I wonder where you are.

Sounds about right to me.