Star People

I’m a science buff and I try to keep up on anything new and startling and interesting. So it was fascinating for me to read that they’ve discovered evidence of water on Mars. As a stargazer that kind of news got my attention.

            All of us, I suppose, who’ve ever been affected by popular science fiction, have wondered about the possibility of Martians – and the fact that there night once have been water there only lends strength to the mystery. The Red Planet. Aliens. Ray guns. The stuff of wonder.

            My people tell of Star People who came to us many generations ago. The Star people brought spiritual teachings and stories and maps of the cosmos and they offered these freely. They were kind, loving and set a great example. When they left us, my people say there was a loneliness like no other.

            Now, I’m not saying the Star People of legend were Martians but I am saying that the fascination with the heavens and the awesome possibilities that exist out there, lives throughout cultures across the globe. Mars, our closest neighbour, has always been a magnet for our attention.

            All those possible worlds. That’s what I think when I stare up at a blanket of stars. Maybe there’s a part of that old Ojibway legend alive within me. Or maybe it’s just a latent wish for more, for a bigger experience than this earthbound reality. But water on Mars gets me thinking.

            If Star People did come to the Ojibway, where did they go? Where did they come from? Who brought teachings to them? What scientific magic did they own that allowed them to make such an incredible journey – and is it possible for us?

            Sure, that sort of thinking doesn’t pay the rent or solve any legitimate earthly problems but it does make the head and spirit swell with possibility and maybe, in the end, that’s the role of science – the aboriginal kind and the western kind – to invite us again into the world of the possible, to make us wonder again.

            So I’ll keep on looking up into the heavens. Just as I’ll continue to look at the world around me with fascination and wonder. Because that’s the biggest gift the Star People likely left behind them – a sense of awe at the splendor and the magnificence of the universe.

About Richard Wagamese

I am a published author with 13 titles published by major Canadian publishers. I am a First Nations person from the Ojibway Nation in Northwestern, Ontario, Canada. As a professional writer since 1979 I have written for newspaper, radio television, magazines and book publishing. I love the culture of books and the people who populate it. 2012 recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media & Communications. View all posts by Richard Wagamese

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