On this summer solstice day O God
I’m thinking about our earth, our place on it, and the larger cosmos that we’re a part of.
Astrophysicists are amazing people -
Acute observers of the universe,
Reading and carefully mapping our past and our future.
Yesterday during an awe-inspiring lecture
I witnessed a dramatic telling of our context as revealed on a logarithmic map of the universe.
We journeyed from the Earth’s core out to the Earth’s surface, the International Space Station, the Hubble Telescope, other satellites orbiting the Earth, the moon, the sun, planets, asteroids, distant stars, black holes, pulsars, other galaxies, quasars and cosmic microwave radiations, out to the edge where the universe becomes opaque.
The place where any potential intelligent life is so far away that it will never know that we exist.
It will never know we exist.
But I am.
Though I am too small for this map.
I stand on this Earth,
But this Earth is mapped as a tiny spec.
We travelled the map through the universe from core to edge in 5 minutes,
A scale at which this moment, this now, cannot be captured,
It's duration not mappable.
What then of me?
Of this earth?
Of this sun that shines on us for so long on this solstice day?
May I recall today that I am yours,
Me and all around me -
We are yours.
This earth is yours,
And all that we see and touch, taste and smell is yours.
And this glorious warming sun is your gift -
Your gift to this ever-expanding universe that you are creating in our midst.
In our midst,
Below our noses
And within us,
Your creative power astounds.
May I delight in all that I have the gift of experiencing
In the space and time of this day,
Knowing that I matter.
We all matter.
It all matters
Here’s the map we scrolled up in 5 minutes: https://www.astro.princeton.edu/universe/all100.gif
Many thanks to the magi project http://www.themagiproject.org/2019
And here’s a mind-blowing scale model of our solar system that clarifies the distortions of every map we studied in school. A short video shot in the Nevada desert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4524AAZdE