One of the many wonders that is immediately available to us is the night sky.
How many generations of men and women have tilted their heads back and gazed in awe at the vastness and mystery of the night sky?
Our explanatory grasp of the cosmos is greater than it was when humanity first looked up, yet it is still mysterious.
So much time! So much space!
The concept of a light-year is itself incredible. The distance that light travels in one year!
The Andromeda Galaxy is 2.5 million light-years away, meaning that the light we see when we look at it is 2.5 million years old. The unaided human eye can see this. It is a direct experience that puts us in contact with the state of the universe 2.5 million years ago.
There are depths of space that are unknowable.
A remedy to hubris and rigidity is to look up.
The night sky can broaden and smooth our sense of self. We are fundamentally relational: any identity we hold is defined by relationship. Who are you in relation to the night sky?
The flurry of meaning making that surrounds us, that chases us, all of it breaks down when viewed through a wide enough lens.
When we’re sure that all is well. Or when we’re sure that we’re all doomed. Carry such views lightly.
Thankfully, life is more than we understand it to be.