We laid out on the grass tonight, Duncan and I, looking at the stars. He was unusually mellow and let me rest my head against him while he gnawed on a stick and cupped one paw over my hand. I craned my neck skyward and watched the Big Dipper hang above us, dipping into the orange haze that hovers over Denver, and thought back on those summer nights when Casey and I slept on our porch, telling stories to one another and reading books aloud, talking about our dreams and what we wanted our lives to be, our eyes focused on the space between stars, the wide darkness occasionally split by a shooting star, something we gasped at and tried to point to, never quite managing before they burnt out and faded over the horizon. Sleeping outside was a precious time for us, a time for hushed voices and confessions, the night cool on our faces and arms, our bodies tucked into the warmth of our sleeping bags. I would like her to come for a visit so we could sleep out again and talk long into the night, maybe explore new dreams and hopes for the future. We have changed and our paths have changed many times over, but the Dipper still hangs in the sky, the second star in the handle hugged close by another one, further out perhaps, and not as bright, but if you look carefully you can see it there, almost on top of it. I like to imagine that's the place our dreams are born, waiting until the time is right before they travel untold distances to shine upon us and illuminate our lives.