Familiar Constellations

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I remember when I was a kid, maybe around 7 years old when I used to have evening walks with my grandpa. He would talk about a wide range of topics. He was a Minister for the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) in the Lanao del Norte area before he retired, which probably explains his gift of gab. One thing that I can fondly remember during our conversations was that he has intricate knowledge of the constellations.

He’d always know where the North star was. So in case he gets lost, he just looks up and immediately knows where he is based on the position of the constellations. I remember that he never respects the roads. He’d go through a thicket with his trusty machete if it’s on his way as long as he can go to that one direction that will lead him home.

Growing up, I used to look up and look at Orion’s Belt (the three-star-cluster that’s next to each other in the image) and from there know where our house was. Last night as I was walking home from the bus stop I invariably looked up in the frosty but very clear night sky and saw Orion right above our apartment building. It was symbolic for me because from where I was standing (Facing West South West) my parents house used to be behind me, but from that vantage point I see the apartment ahead of me.

In essence I was going away from my home to my home.

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