Zooming In

My view is vast. Infinite. It’s the entire cosmos, all the solar systems, galaxies, stars, planets, asteroids, satellites and black holes.

Time is irrelevant here, but change is constant. Stars flicker out or explode as supernovas. Dark matter and energy pulse and there are hefty rocks careening through space, colliding with planets and other celestial objects. Planets circle stars and moons circle planets. There is chaos and there is order. The universe is All.

I rest my sights on the Milky Way which is but one of billions of galaxies in the universe. Each star in the milky way is teeming with planets. I focus on one of those stars, known as the Sun and see the nine planets that orbit it. Looking even closer I note the third planet from the sun, a blue dot in the black vastness. Zooming in I see that the planet is mostly covered in water, hence the blue tinge but great mountain ranges zig zag across the land and there’s lush vegetation, trees being the most notable feature. 

Drawing my gaze even closer I recall that this blue dot in the universe is also home to billions of beings, from single cell organisms to birds that soar and larger two and four-legged creatures. Last time I cast a glance this way there were significantly more varieties but now the two-legged ones, the humans, have grown in number, skewing the fine balance. Time will sort out this problem. Time, eternal time, restores balance to all aspects of the cosmos.

Earth has existed for 3.8 billion years but humans have been around for only a few hundred thousand. In other words, they just got there.

And perhaps they are already on their way out?

I’d watched the evolution of life on this planet and when I first noticed the transition from hominid to human I was curious. What will they do with their developing brains? With their compassionate hearts? 

Not what I’d expected, as it turns out.

Earth, that tiny, fragile exception in this particular solar system was an anomaly. It had life. It had potential. Humans did not rely solely on instinct to guide them as unicellular beings do. They are capable of great emotion and wondrous imagination.

Yet it seems they misunderstood the insignificance of their individual lives or the interconnectedness of all life on their planet and the universe. They didn’t look up with awe and wonder to see how minuscule they were in the greater cosmos. They didn’t use their imaginations to create world-wide community or to focus on the greater good, on love. Instead they waged war on one another and raped the planet’s natural resources. They may now be posed to wipe out all life on earth, but it matters not. It won’t make but a speck of difference in the greater universe.  They’re just a dust mote in the expanse of time. As I said, change is the only constant. Change and endless time. 

Perhaps a new kind of life will morph from the old, or maybe the planet will simply spin on its axis, lifeless, like so many of the others. The climate storms that have been set into motion will, after mere thousands of years, subside again. The ocean tides will continue to ebb and flow with the rotation of the moon and the sun will blaze for its remaining five billion years.

I pull back my view, away from that one minuscule rock and again survey the vastness of it all. The great and beautiful whole.

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