Sometimes, it’s good for your soul to feel small and insignificant, before you understand and truly appreciate the vast magnitude and grandeur of the Universe you are a part of. Humans have only been on the planet for mere milliseconds on the cosmic calendar, yet within that time frame, our ancestors grasped to some extent the enormity of all they were living in. And to find the answers to their questions, they did not look to the ground, rather, they turned their innocent gaze upwards at the night sky. And, there under a dark night sky, they forged our first and still strong connection and fascination with the stars.
We live in a world of artificial light and seem to have no more need for the natural light of the moon or the stars. This was not the case for our ancestors. While the sunlight during the day was important for minor things such as the development of civilizations, agriculture and conquests, the star light at night made all these things possible. Ancient stargazers used the tiny flickering lights to track the seasons for planting and reaping crops, chart maps for explorations and navigation, base cultural and religious beliefs and raise questions about our origins, our purpose and if we are truly alone in the Universe. The sky was where the Gods lived and the constellations were legendary stories written by their hands. Thus, we owe much of our beginnings here on Earth, to what was taking place high above our heads. And, even deeper into our cosmic history, we find evidence that the very elements that make up our bodies and allow us to live today, came from the death of ancient stars. We are truly made of star stuff.
The light show here on the ground is in no way comparable to the one in the night sky. It will be good to lose yourself in some stargazing and imagine yourself sitting around a fire in the darkness like our ancestors did, wondering about and questioning our purpose. You do not need a telescope to see our Moon, the constellations or the Milky Way Galaxy in all their splendor. Just go outside on a clear night, in a spot away from artificial lights and look up. That’s all we need to do sometimes. Just look up, feel small and make that ancient connection once again.