Thursday, February 06, 2014

Early Riser

This is why I like waking up earlier in the morning. I woke up at 6 today, and this is the view outside my window from where I sit at my computer. (I wish I could get a better picture, but I'm not a great photographer, and I've come to accept that.) That's Venus in the morning sky. The sun is slowly rising.

I like being up before the sun and imagining I can feel the planet turn into the daylight. There's something about that I've always found comforting. When my wife and I watched Cosmos back in August, we talked about the vastness of the galaxy. She confessed that sometimes it made her feel scared; the sheer size of it sometimes seemed too much to contemplate and made her feel like she had no anchor. For me, it's always been the opposite. It doesn't exactly make me feel more significant, but it makes me feel like I'm a small part of a very large system. Like there's a place for me in the mechanics of the universe. Like I belong.

For me, it's comforting to know we're interconnected, not only with each other and our world, but with an ongoing, endless universe. That we all come from and experience the same matter and the same elements at our most basic levels.

It's like Kepler's harmony of worlds on a smaller, more personal level. I don't think there's a grand design. There are biological laws and general principles of movement and there is a place for us. And there's always more to discover. How can that not make you feel hopeful? It's one of the few things that makes me feel optimistic about humanity.

Just being on the internet during the day, I know I'm going to witness a lot of petty, small behavior. Waking up early in the morning and watching the sunrise makes me feel like we're more than just being angry about movie casting or refusing to help one another or being jerks because someone might be happier than us and it just makes us so stupidly angry.

Watching the sunrise makes it harder to take that seriously. It makes it harder to be depressed. It makes it easier to appreciate being alive.


Oblio said...

Well said, Mr. Green... well said. We are all made up from the stuff of stars, we are all galactic in that singular sense. It's an awesome feeling that renders religious mythology as irrelevant.

Allen Gilchrist said...

This is a great message. I had a similar experience the last week when I got up early to finish homework. I made breakfast and watched the sun come up for the first time in a long while. I kept thinking "this is what it's all about."

Roger Owen Green said...

What you said.

Kal said...

I come home from teaching about 7:20 at night and in our area there are no lights so I can always see the constellations from my back yard. I can lie in bet and watch moonrise too.