When I was a kid, I would lay in the grass and look up at the stars. Hell, my dream was to actually go to the stars in one of those fancy space ships. So far, I have not made it onto a space ship and along the way, I stopped looking at the stars.

Recently, I was in the Florida Keys, spending a few stolen days with my dearest friend and I slowed my harried life long enough to look up – at the stars, that is. As I laid there staring up, I focused on the Big Dipper, which I held squarely in my sights. I felt the sea breeze upon my face and thought wistfully about the clarity of childhood.

The day before, I had learned about a jellyfish called the Cassiopeia, also known as the “Upside Down Jellyfish.” This little creature can be found in the seagrass beds and shallow waters of the Keys and lives upside down with its bell touching the muddy bottoms. Having a mild sting they are sometimes found being carried on the backs of crabs as a defense.

Cassiopeia with Crab

Later as I sat in the Atlanta airport, I thought of the name Cassiopeia. Sure, it was familiar sounding, but I had long since forgotten the story of the beautiful, but vain queen and mother to the lovely Andromeda. A Google later, I discovered that The Big Dipper can be used to locate her directly opposite in the night sky. This woman whose vanity earned her a place in the stars forever. Placed there by Poseidon, the God of the Sea, and forced to hang upside down for part of each year as punishment for her lack of humility. She had been hanging there behind me the whole time.

When living life upside down and trapped in the muddy bottoms, you might still have a mild sting, but it can become the possession of others rather than being put to work on your behalf. However, when blessed with strength, ferocity and life’s gifts, but lacking the humility to deploy these weapons wisely, you will most certainly end up in the muddy bottoms and wonder how you got there.


When your eyes are wide open, you never know what life will show you.


2 Comments on “Cassiopeia”

  1. […] post about Cassiopeia over at lifeonespoonfulatatime reminded me of my recent rediscovery as an adult (or renewed appreciation and a fresh sense of […]

  2. Nice blog! Thanks for visiting my page. I am hoping to post more in the near future.

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