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A short piece from the Beginning Writers' Workshop: Planets Shine

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Planets don't twinkle; they shine.

Venus shone with a steady brilliance, outstanding in the heavenly field. At least two people on Earth looked up to see the light on that warm winter night. As a spokesperson of our community, I will tell you their story and more about our people. Her house was in the city, but the neighbors agreed to keep the back porch lights off, unless they were being used. That is one of the peculiarities, one of the many conscientious habits, the people in Coville share.

She liked having a dark yard at night. It was February, around 7pm, and 50 degrees: very odd for a mountain winter. Being the sorts to take advantage, Leela and Von headed outside with a tray of snacks and beers. They sat close together on the backyard swing.

They spent nights musing, with the Google readied smart-phone in hand. The Internet could fill gaps in their understanding of astronomy. In very curious moments, they would go inside, open up the Stellarium program, and get the arrangement of the solar system more solidly in mind. They were Open Source kind of people.
* * *
"I'm glad you're back from the Developer's Conference," Leela sighed as she tangled Von's arm in hers, and cozied in close. She leaned so she could pip a kiss onto his cheek.

"So happy be here," his words trailed as they slouched and smiled into their familiar comfort.

This sweet quietness continued until Leela recognized her dreamy gaze had fixed on one shining light in the sky. "It's so bright and steady. See it there?" She pointed with her free arm, about 10° above the mountain silhouette.

"That's Venus," Von mumbled into the top of her head.
* * *
You would expect that this scene would continue into some romantic embrace if this were a typical story about people in a typical place, but it's not. Leela and Von's story happened in Coville where Transpersonal Eco-Psychology is taught at the University. Accomplished students understand themselves as a part of the world; they know that they are the wind blowing the dry grass, for example. It's a town, and culture, with many subtle gifts.
* * *

"That's Venus," Von mumbled into the top of her head.

Leela sat bolt-up on the edge of the seat. Her eyes opened wide and her jaw dropped a little.

"What happened?" Von faced her, and studied her expression: deep observation, as if she was discerning some distant details.

"Shh… wait, I gotta see…" she said. A moment passed. "The light of Venus is blue."

Von turned back to the sky and leaned out a bit. He squinted at the planet. "Well, I kinda see it that way, too."

"The light of Venus is blue…it comes from her hand and washes into everything below and around her…there is a flower bed with one blossom, everything catches the blue light that comes from her hand…"

Von sat back and put on his thinking face…hand to his chin. He closed his left eye. "I didn't see that. What are you talking about?"

Reclining slowly, Leela put her hands on her knees and let out her breath. " It's just—I saw—" She shook her head a little, lifted her hand and shrugged. "I don't know."
* * *

As spokesperson, I'll give you a clue. She should have added YET to her statement. She didn't know yet. Important things work out through time.
* * *

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