It Just Was
Excerpted from A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton, ©2012:
“You should get some sleep,” said the bear. “I’ll keep going for a bit. It’s a nice night. Thought I’d row for a while longer and take a look at the moon.”
“Look at the moon?” said the boy. “Why? It’s not going to do anything, is it? I mean, the moon is just the moon.” But as he said it he looked up at the moon himself and, as there was nothing better to do, he kept looking at it for quite a while. He’d been right, it didn’t do anything, but it didn’t have to, it was just beautiful. It just was. The boy gazed at the moon, longer and harder than he ever had before (because who would spend time looking at the moon when there was a telly to watch and video games to play and comics to read?) and felt, for a moment, calm and safe and sure.
“Coo!” he said, but very quietly. And then the boy looked at the stars. There were a lot of them, more, he thought, than usual. He wondered where all the new ones had come from. Maybe they were just all the usual ones but they’d all bunched together in the same bit of sky. He twisted his neck looking up at different patches of sky, but they all seemed equally crowded.
“You can see more stars out here,” said the bear, as if reading the boy’s mind, “because it’s properly dark.”
The boy lowered his head and looked at the bear.
“It’s funny, isn’t it?” the bear went on. “With everything else you can’t see as well in the dark, but with stars you can see them better. In towns, with streetlights and suchlike, it’s not dark enough to see some of them, but out here…” He looked up and smiled and either forgot to continue or felt no need. The boy looked up again too. They sat there for a while, quiet and content, drinking in the beauty of the bejewelled night.
A Boy and a Bear in a Boat is one of my favorite books. I have posted about it before, and you can read the old posts HERE.