There is a picture of Earth from the Voyager 1 space craft from 1990 that recently made the rounds in the news again after being updated.
Space/the universe really is an incredible concept. We’ve estimated that there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the known universe and there are 100 thousand million stars just in our Milky Way galaxy.
That means there are a infinitely mind boggling number of stars and planets in the universe.
This concept can leave me feeling both terrified at our insignificance in the universe and also relieve me of many of the pressures of our lives here on this planet… all at the same time.
It’s not something I’ve ever reconciled with myself and I suppose no human ever will. It’s just one of those amazing wonders.
There’s also a poem that gives me the same feeling. I was introduced to this poem in high school and it has stuck with me my entire life.
It’s called There Will Come Soft Rains by Sara Teasdale. Basically, in 12 lines, it reminds us that in the grand scheme of Earth, much less the universe, humans and human troubles are but a blip in the expanse of time.
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows calling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
I find a lot of comfort in these concepts when I’m stressed out. It puts our lives in a different perspective and for whatever reason it allows me to relax.
I don’t really have much else to say at the moment, but I’m super duper excited to see you for Valentine’s weekend in a few days!
P.S. How do you organize an astronaut’s birthday party. You planet!
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