Sunday, April 08, 2012

Everyday Miracles

Early this morning, as I watch 12-15,000 people try to shoehorn themselves into an amphitheatre built for less than 10,000, I have to wonder about this special sunrise. Isn't every sunrise a miracle and a marvel worth celebrating?

Last night a luminous golden full Moon rose above the southern end of the Hogback as Mars sat at the Lion's right elbow and Orion prepared to sink into the western horizon. Glory to the Powers that daily offer us the opportunity to be awestruck. Perhaps we see, perhaps more often we do not. But still the sights and sounds and smells—all the sensations—of life on Earth are offered to us.

Spring itself is a recurring miracle; through dry years and wet, still it comes, sometimes with a bang, sometimes quietly sneaking up on our senses—if we are the least bit awake to it. Now and then it occurs to me that pollen allergies are Nature's way of reminding us to pay attention.

The best way, of course, is to get out there and revel in it. But if you need a reminder and can't get outside, the wonders of technology offer alternatives. Good links not to lose must be captured somewhere, and this is a great spot to be able to find them again.

Experience the dramatic unfolding of the history of the planet on this trip through Time. Long periods of apparent emptiness (from our shallow perspective) have become "interesting" only relatively recently, and it's good to be reminded how long the Earth got along without us here to direct things.

We can be reminded of our place in the order of the Universe by getting a sense of our scale in Space as well. Smack in the mid-range of creation, it seems, we are indeed:

Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise and rudely great...

   —Alexander Pope

It's a wonder, really, that I don't quote Pope here more often. The couplets of An Essay on Man are pretty much burned into my brain. Poets were so durn smart back in 1733.

That's not to say that humans can't create miraculous visions; that brain is pretty amazing too, beyond poetry. Here's a creative genius at work in a whole new medium, provided by Nature. Another link too good to lose, with thanks to the Chemist for sending it.

No comments: