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I’ve started looking up more.  There is something about it that makes me feel better, happier and smaller (in a good way).

When I was young, my mother used to tell me to “look up” when I was starting to choke on something and coughing a lot.  I thought that was just something she said until recently when I heard a Dr. recommend doing it.  It apparently is the fastest way to open up the airway and help relieve the coughing or choking feeling.  And it really helps!  Now, I’m not talking about serious choking where you are unable to breathe; just those moments when you swallow wrong or have a bad tickle.  

But, even when you’re not feeling this way, it feels good to look up at the massive, beautiful sky and clouds and try to take it all in.  An occasional airplane silently passing by or a flock of birds makes it even more special.  

I don’t know if anyone remembers it now, but after 9/11 when an airplane flying over was loud enough to hear, folks everywhere started looking up.  That was a response to fear because we had never thought to be afraid that something flying over us could suddenly cause such a disaster for so many.  

Recently, I posted about lying on my back on the driveway as a child in the cool evening air.  We would watch for the stars to pop out, one by one, hoping to catch a glimpse of the big and little dipper.  There is nothing like looking up at a night sky, especially when the moon is full - it seems to change you somehow.

My husband and I have enjoyed the frequent sightings of the International Space Station passing through the night sky over our home.  Our favorite “weather people” let us know exactly which direction we should look and the exact range of time to have the best chance for viewing.   And then it appears out from behind the tall trees, just a small, but very bright, white light flying amazingly fast through the sky.  I am in awe and get excited about this every single time.  When it passes over, I think about the people on board and all that they are doing to learn more about our world and space and I am thankful.

During a church retreat one year we sat at the foot of a cross meant to resemble the one used for Christ’s crucifixion.  We were encouraged to bow and pray and ask for God to take from us anything keeping us from getting closer to Him.  We had our heads down for a while when I suddenly got the urge to look straight up at the cross.  It wasn’t meant to be defiant or to be less reverent - but, I can tell you that it was one of the most powerful moments I had ever experienced.  And, ironically, instead of making breathing easier, that experience of looking up literally took my breath away.

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