remembering our smallness+bigness
(Photo from NPR.org)
The images this week from the James Webb Space Telescope are quite stunning and, for lack of a better word, humbling. We are seeing Space with a capital S! According to NPR reporter Emily Kwong, NASA’s new space telescope is providing “the most detailed, rich, and ancient images of the universe we have seen – including the birth of stars, galaxies colliding, and the bending of space-time itself.”
The released images offer a lot to ponder, especially as efforts to curb climate change on our planet seem to perpetually fail. We know are a small part of whatever universe this is we are in. We are insignificant, some might say. However, I don’t see this as a reason to give up or lose hope.
In revising my memoir that is coming out next month, I went back and forth with the copy writer about the word earth. Capital or lowercase e? When it came to sentences about loving and appreciating our beautiful plant we agreed that a big E was needed. When I was describing toiling away in the soil, the lowercase e felt more appropriate.
In light of these new perspective-orienting photos, I keep thinking about my relationship to this ailing and right now very hot (see UK record heat wave) orb. There is a lot to love about our big-E Earth. There is a lot to grieve, too.
As more images are released from this telescope and we continue to gaze outward into the grand unknown, I hope we can both appreciate our smallness and also turn towards our little-e earth with the same wonder and awe. There is still so much to cherish here. There is still so much to save.
Update: I will be recording my first few HDE podcast interviews at the end of this month so stay tuned!