Follow your heart to see where it leads, Grandma always said. But he never imagined it would lead him here.
Sleep evaded him, and his wakeful, restless heart led him out to stand on the tallest backyard hill: the sledding hill of all sledding hills in the winter, the hill that made the best skateboarding and bike ramp in the summer. He stood with his arms at his sides, staring into the expanse of night, his vigilant eyes beholding the tiny pinpricks of light that shone all the brighter in his dreams. Many memories had been made on that hill, but perhaps this moment would be the one he’d look back on as the one that truly changed his life.
Because he was a normal-ish kid, no one expected him to make history this night. He certainly considered himself normal, except for the obsession with space. Yes, he loved playing outside and having puckish adventures with his friends, but he much preferred to sit with Grandpa in his study and scrutinize maps of constellations and pour over Nation Geographic articles about mars or pluto.
The Starwalker. That’s what they’d call him. Miles, the 8 year-old Starwalker, youngest of his kind. There were so many Starwalkers now.
They would ask him how he found the glorious path. And he would answer that he simply bumped into it. His shins dug right into the unseen stairway, and he’d said a word under his breath that would’ve caused Mother to ground him for a week had she heard it. Consequently, the full moon shone it’s lovely smile down upon him and the upward trail; to this day he would remember the shining shimmer of it. It was more like an escalator, for the second he placed his foot on it, he zoomed upward. He lost his breath for a time, and nearly his after-dinner snack, but sucked in the slowly-depleting oxygen the minute he found his lungs again. Exhilarating.
His heart swelled beneath his sternum as he reached out to touch, with index finger, what he believed to be a star. It shivered with his touch, but did not fall or move, and he, mere mortal, felt a roll of energy whiz to his toes. Later they would discover the two-way power transfer, which was only the beginning of a new energy source for planet earth outside of sunlight, wind, or water-run powerplants.
So it was that whenever he shared his life story at prestigious colleges and universities (for a hefty fee, of course), he always made sure to end it with his Grandma’s words: follow your heart to see where it leads. Because one never knew what earth-altering adventure you might find yourself on.
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