Sometimes we need to sit back and take a good look around us.
To see the vividness of what we are, where we are, of which stuff we are made, sometimes we need a fresh perspective. When I was living in Portugal, in the small town of Bensafrim, I used to love looking up at the night sky. There was so little ambient light there, that you grasp the starscape so clearly it used to take my breath away.
I remember staring up at all the pale dots in the sky, questioning whether someone out there was looking back at our pale blue dot in the same wonderment.
I used to imagine myself floating through space. I zoomed past the moon, looking back toward the Earth, taking in the immensity of it.
And then I would keep going. I would make my way through the solar system, stopping by a few planets here and there. But always, my eyes fixated on Earth–the place I call home.
And maybe I would stop at Mars…
Or I would just keep on going…
…until I reached the point where Voyager 1 had taken that photo of us as a pale blue dot.
And when I finally came to rest at this point, the fact that we are so infinitesimal compared to the rest of the universe, I would recall Carl Sagan’s words (from The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean):
Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.
Cue my serenity.