Feb. 2, 2021When the universe was young the sky was filled with planets, and stars, and stardust, and many many rocks. One of these rocks was a bit more special than the rest. She was unlike any that came before her. She was a kind and happy rock, who always floated near a big blue planet. Sometimes when the light hit her surface, she would glow a brilliant green. At times like those, she almost didn't look like a rock at all. As the sky moved from day to day, and week to week, the rock would see planets far off in the distance. She would wonder what it would be like to go to them. Week after week and month after month she would wonder. Until one day she decided to go find out. The rock had never gone anywhere before and wasn't sure how to go about it. She started to rock back and forth. Then she started to spin. Soon enough, she was flying through the sky. As she left, clouds swirled on the big blue planet. For it was sad to see her go, and when planets cry there is a rain storm. At first the rock was not good at moving. She would spin too far to the right or too far to the left. Slowly she learned how to travel whichever direction she liked, and she enjoyed exploring space. She saw a planet filled with water, with not a speck of land. Then found a planet all dried up, with beaches made of sand. She swore she met a planet who looked suspiciously like her. And then she saw a planet that was, well… she wasn’t sure. One planet she discovered, had grown forests made of green. Another one was very shy, not fond of being seen. She flew right by a planet, that was frozen icy cold. And then she saw a planet that was made of jewels and gold! She had started to notice that each planet seemed brighter than the last. They were all so different and all so pretty. It became hard for her to decide where to go next. If each planet she visited was more beautiful than the one before it, then how could she decide which way to go next, and how could she decide where to stay. So she continued traveling, afraid to miss a single planet. Eventually she came upon the big blue planet that she had once circled, but she found that is was not the same. It was shining in a way that it never had before. It was more blue than it had ever been, and certainly more beautiful. This made her stop for a moment. “I do not know where I should go next” she said out loud. “Each direction is filled with wonderful planets. And I cannot stop, knowing that the next planet will be even more beautiful if I continue on. Even my big blue planet has grown more beautiful every day in my absence.” The big blue planet overheard this. “Can you not see why I am brighter?" it asked. "You are the brightest planet I have ever seen," she said, "but I do not know why you glow brighter today than you did when I left you." “You have brightened me,” it said. “But I am just a rock” she replied. “You are no longer just a rock like the day you left me,” said the big blue planet. “You have grown bold and bright. Now you are a shooting star, and you are the reason that I shine. And while you are worrying about which direction to go, all of the planets in space are hoping that you will come their way to brighten them.” And so the shooting star, who was no longer just a rock, finally understood. It did not matter where she went, the light was her own. So the rock sat there for a moment, by the bright blue planet and wondered. "Should I keep traveling, or should I fly around the big blue planet and grow brighter with it each day.” She thought, until she knew exactly what to do.