Long before dawn I stand at the window in the den and look up at the moon. It seems especially bright and beautiful in the south west sky.
My imagination flits about, and I think about the ancients and the superstition and stories they crafted around this light in the night. I expect that among these things there was a good measure of wonder as well.
By now twelve of us have walked on the surface of the moon. We’ve all seen pictures. When I was ten-years-old, Dad roused my sister and I from sleep so we could huddle around he screen of our black and white television and watch man take the first steps on the moon. (Dad was well intentioned, wanting his daughters to experience the monumental event. My recollection is that I was grumpy-tired and just wanted to go back to bed.)
So now we have conquered the moon, stood on its surface and examined its geology. I suppose we have learned a few things. But as I stand at the window and look up, I think of none of these things.
Rather, my thoughts are about people who lived long before space travel was even remotely a possibility, those who looked up in awe at the mysteries of a night sky unaffected by artificial ambient light.
The awe they must have felt.
The sense of their own smallness.
And yes, surely there were some among them who dreamed of somehow traveling to the cosmos, but I wonder if there were more who simply looked up in wonder, pondered the magnificence of creation, and could do nothing but worship the One who created.
Maybe in our drive to conquer everything we lost something.
I don’t know. It’s something I think about as I look up and then take my first sip of morning coffee.
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Curious about how artificial light affects how we see the night sky? Here’s an interesting video.