Thursday, October 20, 2011

Magic and Mystery in the Sky Above Us

When I got in my car to come to work this morning I couldn't help but notice the dramatic cloudscape overhead. It rained last night, but this morning the sun decided to make a bold appearance. The clouds were piled up in puffy white heaps, tinged with gray here and there with the dregs of left-over rain, scudding briskly across the sky. Both the clouds and the yellow leaves on the trees almost seemed to glow as the morning sun shone through them.

Sometimes I look at the sky and marvel at all that goes on up there. Sunsets drenched in color. Massive cloud continents drifting by. Jets streaking across the sky towards some unknown destination. The night sky dazzles, too, with the luminous bulk of the moon and the bright glimmer of satellites. The carpet of stars beyond contains entire galaxies. It is all tantalizingly close, yet impossibly far away.

Sometimes I just stop what I'm doing and gaze at it, amazed by this constant quiet reminder of just how little we know about what we earthlings are really all about. It really is mind blowing if you stop to think about it. We are just tiny creatures clinging to a rock shooting through the universe. None of us knows how the universe was created, other than a big bang had something to do with it. What caused the big bang? What was it that blew up in the first place? Was it part of something bigger? What lies beyond the universe? For all we know, we could be amoeba traveling through the digestive track of some giant creature the likes of which we can't even imagine.

Yet as amazing and mysterious as the sky is, most of us pass our days hardly noticing it. We go about our self-important business, content with the myth that we are masters of our lives and our world, jockeying for position with one another as if any of it makes a difference in the larger context when seen from space.

When I look up at the sky it reinforces my sense of mystery and wonder. Magic seems possible - maybe even plausible - considering how little we really know about ourselves and this planet we call home. Is it really any wonder my Celtic fore bearers were so infatuated by the moon?

Van Gogh's starry night makes me think he saw magic in the sky, too.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite paintings. This was so eloquent . I love looking up at the sky also and wondering what others see. When I moved from the city of Honolulu to Maui, one of the benefits was less lights, you can see the stars and moon more clearly.