The Challenge of Sky Watching


Be careful when you go out on a clear night:

Itís a universe out there.

The night is a stage set for teaching humility.


First, reflect on how you did not make this night

Any more than you made its brother, day.

Secondly, consider the dimension of the universe:

It is measured in the distance that light travels each second:

One hundred eighty-six, two hundred eighty two

Miles per second, and

The light at the edge of the ever-expanding universe

Takes 47 billion light years to reach the retina of our eye.

Now humility is settling in.

Think of our sunís system, its planets, their moons--

Of earthís humble place in the system.


Thirdly, think of the stars, their number, their distance, their sizeó

Then rush to ponder galaxies, nebula.


Be careful.

Humility will renew you and change you.


--July 31, 2013