Lee's Lexicon February 4, 2022

Hello Broadway!

I'm going to cheat a little bit this week - it's not really an all that difficult to translate word, but it is one that is...close to my heart, I suppose. Morgenstern is possibly a word some of you will be familiar with - it's also a last name, and a historical weapon, but it means 'morning star', referring to Venus (or sometimes another planet, but most commonly Venus), which for part of the year is very bright, and the last 'star' to fade from the sky in the morning.

When I was in elementary school and my dad still waited with me for the bus at the end of the driveway every morning (when he was home), we'd stargaze while we were waiting - we'd even go out earlier than necessary so we could spend more time looking. It was the best part of my day, a lot of the time. For a long time, I wanted to be an astronomer; a lot of that desire was down to that connection with my dad, 'our thing' that wasn't shared by either of my siblings, or anyone else. It was just us, and the stars; and for a few weeks at certain parts of the year, we'd get to see the light slowly spreading from the rising sun, and by the time the bus got there, the only star left was the Morning Star. Morgenstern.

German was also one of the first languages I studied outside of English (along with Finnish), so when I discovered that word it very quickly became one of my favorites, in any language. Thus, when I figured out I was non-binary, at one point I, with the encouragement of my friends and as an important step in accepting my identity, decided to choose a new middle name to go along with my first name. I chose Morgen. There were a few other reasons, relating to its being the word for 'morning' and an archaic unit of measurement of distance, as well as the first half of 'morgenstern', but most of it? Was because of the Morning Star and the connection I felt and still feel to it, and through it, to my dad, to my family, even as they are still not completely aware of my queerness - even as I'm not sure I'll ever be able to share that part of myself with them.

All this to say...the Morning Star is...a reminder. That night does not last forever. That each morning brings something new. A new chance to be kind. A new day in which to love others. A new place to visit and see God's beauty in. And, yes, new hardships and challenges, but also the assurance that those hardships and challenges will likewise not last forever, will one day fade even as the stars above do as well. And a reminder of the beauty that the night also holds, because at other times of the year, the same planets that are the Morning Star become the Evening Star instead.

A reminder that we are not bound by the past. We can rise each morning and be whoever we choose. If we made mistakes yesterday, that was yesterday. We may still be dealing with the consequences today, but those mistakes need not control us, need not chain us into being someone or something we do not wish to be.

A reminder - a reassurance - of God's love, of Their power.

Because God is present in the night and in the day. In the stars and in the sun, in the nebulas and galaxies and all other celestial phenomena.



In the names we are given, and the names we choose; in the identities that we struggle with as well as the ones we are proud of. In the Morning and Evening Stars, and God the Creator is the source of the beauty and power in both.


Lee M. Rollins

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