Nearing the year’s end on this Winter Solstice, together we have come one more spin around the Day Star. It is a time for a last trip of the year, forward and back–or more precisely, out. Far out.
But let’s start this excursion where we live–at home. In this case, from my own personal orbit, viewing the Goose Creek solar system from the perspective of ten years of space-time. I report what I see in the 3 minute WVTF radio essay broadcast today. You can listen online.
Then, consider the pin-wheel fireworks of innumerable suns that we call the Milky Way–the individual droplets of light so dense that, even from light years away, their pinpoint brilliance smears against the blackness of the vacuum of space. Prepare to be astounded as you consider this one of a trillion trillion galaxies, average in every way, except that in it is you. And me. Spend five minutes immersed in the clickable Milky Way in preparation for the final leg of our journey this morning.
We need nothing so much now as a proper perspective of our place in the universe that might help us overcome our pettiness, our egos, our illusions that our group, our party, our nations are autonomous universes on their own. We share in the most precious quality in all the cosmos–life; and more than that, sentient life that can know, understand, care, and act with reason and compassion for the greater good.
Please stop what you are doing. Take seven minutes in which you recalibrate the metrics by which you have understood your place in the universe, your importance or insignificance. Watch the Tour of the Known Universe. And from that new grounding, look ahead at what we can all do together, dare I use the phrase–a thousand thousand points of light–towards the challenge and opportunity of what comes next.