Catch a Shooting Star

This story is dedicated to all of those who have supported our amazing film: Junction. To all of our fans, friends and family. We are the “little independent movie that could” and we hope that both our story, and the story of Junction finds it way into every home and theatre in America. (Although kids, you shouldn’t watch it until you are a bit older). 🙂 As we head south, into Week 2 of Junction’s theatrical release we grow to 4 cities, and we press on see how far we can go.

From the bottom to the top, Thank you.

Catching a Shooting Star

I’d like to tell you a story about how I caught a shooting star. It’s not a fairy tale. Not an instruction manual. It’s just, well…perhaps I should start at the beginning.

It is something that I have wanted to do since I was a boy. I remember sneaking out late and laying up on top of the hill that looked down at my neighborhood, just far enough away to feel alone and high enough to let the sky cover me like a blanket. The late nights of summer where the night shared with me a sky full of stars. That is, before the sky was taken over with lights from the Walmart parking lot and muted out from the freeway lamps. So clear you could swear you see the planets peeking out from the darkness. Wondering if they were looking back and if they could see you, too. Sure it was just my imagination, but with the silence as my friend, there were no limits to what I could dream of. I was only limited by what my imagination could not dream up at the time.

The air was warm that night—when I saw it. I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I went to focus on it, but it was already gone. It was just a blip. A flash. A moment where something in the sky moved. That is where this story started. I remember a story about a boy who caught a shooting star, it is said he watched it from the moment it entered the darkness, until the moment the last spark of dust landed in his hand.

But that just sounds like hogwash, doesn’t it? I mean Momma had told me that stars are burning gases. Like a lantern. Like the sun itself, just of a different color. And I knew no burning gas was going to travel all the way from the sky into the palm of my hand.

That would be a fairytale.

But something about it seemed…real. I couldn’t let it go. Got to the point where Momma told me that there are things in this life that are out of reach. Things that we’ll never get to see or do. And she said it’s wasn’t because we didn’t deserve to see them or do them, but because we had more important things to do. That we were put on this earth for a reason, and it wasn’t just to look up at the stars.

Looking back at those years I see what she was doing, she was preparing me for life. She wanted me to focus on what was important, not just on those dreams of childhood that I made up in my head all those nights on the hill.

But that glimpse of what I saw that night never left my memory. And that crazy story about boy who caught a shooting star seemed to become more real in my head each time I thought of it.

What if…you know? What if. What if he did catch that shooting star? I tried to imagine that. What it would be like to catch something traveling with so much force that it is breaking apart before my very eyes. I imagined riding it, jumping on it the same way I launch onto my bicycle, and the soft seat catches me as I ride off at lightning speed across the stars. The more I thought about it, I realized I would need special glasses. I would need to be able to see where the star was going without being blinded by the other stars I passed along the way—Dad’s sunglasses were perfect. They almost covered my entire face. And, I would need a suit, but not like Superman. I didn’t have any special powers, I just had this shooting star to catch. So I figured the blue suit and vest momma made me wear for first communion would be perfect— something that thick would keep me safe from the unpredictable temperatures. I learned about that from the book of planets Mr. Teaburn, our school librarian, loved to keep out on display. What I couldn’t figure out is what I would do when the star finally broke apart into dust. Would I fall from the sky too?

It took me a long time to figure this part out. How rock and gas could just dissapear in the sky. It didn’t make sense me. It had to go somewhere. Momma said it probably just went back to where it came from. Strangely, that made sense. So I figured, when the star went home, so would I.

So I prepared. I practiced how I would catch my shooting star. Laid out my suit, Dad’s glasses, and I even made a sandwich. I figured peanut butter and jelly would keep better up there, even though I always craved cheese sandwiches at a night.

I also didn’t know how long I would be gone. I figured seconds, since the shooting star I first saw was gone before I could even start counting. But I was prepared for anything. Suit, glasses, and a sandwich in my pocket.

Momma humored me. She refreshed my supply of sandwiches each night, and she even packed me a backpack full of space tools: a bug container to bring back a space rock, and a tube of toothpaste because she said if I was gone more than one night I would have to brush my teeth all by myself. She even surprised me with a parachute she made out of cardboard, string and a grocery bag.

But then something happened.

I often fell asleep while I was on watch for my shooting star. But this night was different. See, the first night I fell asleep, Momma got worried.  Thought something happened. So she put on her boots and walked up the hill complete in her nightgown to find me and she carried me home…as she ended up doing more times than I’d like to admit. But everything changed that night. The night I wasn’t there. All she found was the bug container and an empty sandwich bag. But not me.

The bug container fell out because…well—everything happened too fast. The sandwich she made that night hit the spot, and I’ll have to thank her when I get home.  I learned something that night—in fact, I’ve learned so much since that night. The suit jacket, for example, was too constricting. It was too difficult to hold on. So I left it somewhere near the moon. The glasses, they worked perfectly. Thanks, Dad. But most of all, I learned that we become what we think about, everyday. I had a dream to catch a shooting star, but I was too young to dream I could live among them.

Thanks, Mom.  And please don’t worry, I’ll be home soon.


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