I flipped the yard light on and the living room lights off before closing the door. I’d had a disappointing evening and I needed to walk. I had figured out that it was good for my head to slip on the tennis shoes and to just start moving. It created space for me to think and to pray. Just put one foot in front of the other, take in the sights, the sounds and the smells, and let my mind do what it needed to.

This has become a go-to when I’m anxious or bummed out about something, as I was now. I’d gotten my hopes up. I’d pursued a desire and was on the cusp of significant vulnerability- I had things I wanted to say- but I’d been shot down. Which is okay. It happens. But it doesn’t mean it still didn’t hurt. The healthy thing to do now was to receive that disappointment with hospitality, is how my counselor puts it. Don’t run away from this, Jake. Instead, take a walk with it. Apparently, this is the best way to be an emotionally healthy person, to deal with my experiences instead of pushing them away.

In the summer, the sun sets pretty late in Boise, but then there’s twilight- that golden hour that never seems to last long enough. It’s my favorite time of the day, when it’s not too hot to be out and moving, but it’s not cool enough to warrant a hoodie. The light is pink-orange and makes everything a little more beautiful. The songs of frogs and crickets nearly hide the dying sounds of traffic.

As I walked, the only thing missing were the stars. I kept looking at the sky, wondering when the first would reveal itself. When I was a kid, I’d remember that nursery rhyme, star light, star bright… and I’d wish for so many things. I didn’t know what prayer was, but was this a form of faith, or possibly a space held open for it?

I walked and prayed and grumbled a little as I went. I kept looking to the sky, and by the time I got home, was surprised that I hadn’t seen any stars. The walk was fine, though nothing was resolved. I was still bummed out. I turned from my front step and took one more look out at the evening, and a still small voice said, “It’s not dark enough yet.”

And I accepted that I’d be okay.