| Now |


28 December 2002, 04:22

I’m watching the Earth.
I’m watching the swirling clouds in the atmosphere, the light hazy halo that seems to float right above the planet, the glint of light that infuses the space from our own distant star. I’m seeing a miracle. I am seeing our planet from space, or what is being transmitted back from space to my little tv. And I’m on the verge of tears.

This is one site very few humans have ever seen, and so very many of us take it for granted that we can see our Earth in the context of being a planet admist many, a traveler amongst others, flying through the universe.

When I was a little girl, I was fortunate enough to see the series Cosmos created by Carl Sagan. It grabbed me and never let me go. It allowed me to look into the sky and see endless time and distant miracles. I studied all I could, reading about the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, the chance of life on other worlds. I hung a solar system from my ceiling, I learned about Percival Llowell and Tyco Brach (although I never learned to spell him…). I was entranced and taken up by the stars. I had a fascination for Science Fiction and my childhood fantasies involved flying to the moon or to Mars.

I remember being glued to the TV when the first space shuttle took its test flight. Enterprise, I think it was. Aptly named, I thought.

And now I sit, for at least an hour now, dumbfounded and amazed that I am seeing Earth. It is like touching heaven, or at least peeking in the windows. It makes everything seem so small, and so gauche. I have looked up the images released by NASA from the Hubble telescope, and sat in awe of such beauty that is in space. Such monumentous events in space captured for all to see at the touch of a keyboard. The nebulas where stars are born. The spinning dance of twin stars locked in each others orbit until they die. The plumes of scattering matter shooting out of the middle of galaxies.

There is just not enough time in one life to experience each amazing thing that is available to me. From the thunderous,billowing nebulas deep in space to the little wheezes my dog makes while she dozes under the guinea pig cage.

When I started off in college, my path was to be an astronomer. But, as with all paths, there are savage detours and hairpin veers. I may start taking astronomy classes after anthropology runs its course. I’m about two or three classes away from my anthropology degree. This was the result of another longing I had in 1998, since the Journalism sheepskin looked so lonely at the bottom of that box in the closet.

There is just not enough time to do everything I want. Hopefully, that reincarnation thing I’ve been working on will work. Then at the end of time, I will have been able to touch each of the miracles that I see.

Who knows, I might be the first human to live forever. Hope they still have Macs in the year 3,000.