A Still Moon and Stars: Early Columns, and More

WestBow Press
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In early March, Michael, my nine-year-old, called me to come outside. From my easy chair in front of the television, I hesitated. It was late evening and it was chilly out there. My son came in, took my hand, led me into the backyard and up the steps to our deck. It was very dark. I could barely make out Sandi, my wife, bundled in a blanket on a wicker chair. A little further away, equally enwrapped, sat Jenny. Michael, whom I lost momentarily, had by now climbed onto a pallet bed covered with blankets and a pillow on the deck floor.

A comforter draped chair awaited me. For a few minutes we spoke about events of the day. We then moved on to concerns, at the time, pressing. Eventually, we seemed to settle on old milestones: vacations, reunions, the like. The space between our whispering grew. Soon we were silent.

I became aware of how the pine trees formed a colonnade around the edge of our backyard; shadow sentries between us and the canyon below. Above the pines were the stars and a crescent moon over the Seven Sisters to the east. There were so many stars, so many; and planets, too, coursing overhead like an hour hand across the Zodiac. We were all still as a lake, and welcomed the galaxies in.

The universe is an unconquerable mystery, and so are we; both can be so beautiful, so achingly beautiful: ourselves, the still moon and stars. We try to decipher what few answers we can about the questions they pose. Not from some noble quest, but simply to know.

Over the past sixteen years, at my best, Ive tried to chronicle the beauty and the questions as theyve come to me. Mostly, Ive had to be satisfied with the mysteries big and small. And that is what I write about.

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About the author

David Lawrence Rooks was born the second of premature twin boys in Phoenix, Arizona in 1956. He spent 10 formative years near there in the valley towns of Chandler and Tempe, Arizona. He then moved with his family to his father’s Native land of the Oglala Lakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where he graduated high school at Red Cloud Indian School in 1974.

He attended College at Mount Marty in Yankton, SD on an academic/ athletic scholarship, and later attended Chadron State College in Chadron, NE. on the GI Bill. He learned life lessons on the oil fields of Colorado, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming. He also served our country with the First Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas for four years.

Dave has worked at Red Cloud School, and written for several newspapers and magazines, including the Rapid City Journal where he has been a columnist from 1997 up to the present. In his spare time he has coached soccer for a decade to young boys and girls across Western South Dakota. He currently lives in Hot Springs, SD where he and his wife are raising their six children, two cats, a dog, twelve fi sh, and one black widow spider.

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Additional Information

WestBow Press
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Published on
Oct 31, 2012
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Body, Mind & Spirit / General
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Content Protection
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Eligible for Family Library

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