Silly, right? After all, look at me now. Who is more earthbound than me? I have a family and work a job. I have a mortgage, a dog, and people keep trying to give me credit cards. I’m being harassed by political calls wanting me to vote for someone or other. I’m not young anymore. Somewhere, life took a right turn into everyday living. Not for me the exploration of the unknown. There are no galaxy clusters or red giants in my future. I’ll never see firsthand the more than 200 blue stars in Galaxy M33 or even go to Mars.
Where’s my immense universe of light and color? Where is the infinite variety of worlds? Where is my great adventure? I’ve pondered over those questions for a long time. It really doesn’t seem fair of life to tease me with the knowledge that there is something out there and not let me reach for it. As I think about it now, maybe I’m finding the beginnings of an answer. As big as the universe is – the one that begins where our planet’s atmosphere ends – there may be an even bigger one that is much closer.
Recently, I’ve begun to consider the relationships in my life. I am beginning to see them a little differently than I used to. Where there were once people, now I've begun to see complete worlds of personality and possibility in human form. There are thoughts, ideas and emotions that swirl in the minds and hearts of each one of them. There is more to see and more to experience than I could have imagined. The textures and colors of the universe are alive in those unique individuals that I call family and friends. I have only begun to explore their depth and complexity. To understand and appreciate them is the work of a lifetime.
Not everyone you meet is a beautiful galaxy or nebula of course. Some are inhospitable worlds. I’ve met a few gas giants over the years, but we won’t go there. The point is your universe and mine are made up of the infinite interweaving of human relationships in which we really can hear the music of the spheres. We can be gallant explorers without leaving terra firma. We need simply to open our hearts and minds to the wonder and mystery bound up in the persons with whom we share our lives. Welcome to Spaceship Earth!