A Cosmic Perspective
I have this seed deep down. Sometimes it’s dormant, but sometimes it grows and flourishes and blooms in the form of an observatory, for example (ha!). Regardless of its given state, it’s perennial and dependable; it’s always there. It’s this glowing ember of joy, humility, awe, inspiration, and appreciation. Maybe everyone has their own ‘seed,’ their own permanent happy place. It’s a place where you can go whether you’re happy or sad, frustrated or care-free. Maybe everyone has it, or maybe it’s just a lucky few. For me, that thing is the Night Sky.
Why? I don’t know! I didn’t choose it consciously. I may have been born with a mechanical, innate urge to be drawn towards it. Or maybe it was the things I was exposed to as a child. Or more probably, both. Regardless, if I step out into a black night sky and there’s even just a few diamonds above, I instantly get the tingles. -Everything- evacuates my mind and I’m immediately overwhelmed with beauty, wonder, and limitless possibility. I can’t explain why just a few twinkling pinpricks of light can induce such a reaction… for me, it’s just another Law of the Universe.
I know that one aspect of it is the contrast: the night sky is just such a dramatic contrast with our daily lives. We spend so much time constantly bathed in light – sadly, the majority of it artificial. But during those rare moments I find myself beneath a negative exposure of daytime, drastic realizations occur. Not only is my understanding of the universe and my place in it put into perspective, I literally *feel* different.
I feel connected. I feel connected to this world – this spaceship Earth whipping around the Sun, hurtling through space. But I also feel connected to my fellow beings I share this spaceship with! We’re all here together; plants, animals, and humans alike. And we only get so many trips before our time is up.
Understanding plays a huge role because I believe that when most people look up at night they see a bounding black wall. But I see infinity! It’s almost scary and sometimes I get vertigo thinking and truly understanding that those tiny points of light are real places, and the black void between represents a very literal endless sea… You could fall forever if it wasn’t for this blessed gravity tethering us down to the ship!
I stepped out last night before bed and saw brilliant Jupiter – the King of Planets. I saw Scorpius and Leo and Ursa Major and Arcturus and Antares and Vega and Lyra (and a passing iridium flare as icing on the cake)… all Homo Sapien names for just a tiny part of Nature’s eternity.
We’re just a speck of dust; a grain of sand. But the optimists will tell us we’re unique, as far as we know! I say, regardless of whether we’re unique or not – we’re here! Period! We get to be conscious. We get to be *aware* of ourselves and the universe around us. Looking up at the night sky helps me understand and appreciate my place in the universe… and for some reason for me, that instills a glorious, warm, safe, and happy feeling that I’ll never get tired of.