How Large Is Infinity?

Playing outside every day was a typical routine in my childhood. I remember my best friend, Susie, and I would lay on our backs in the grass and stare up at the billowed puffs of clouds in the sky. An elephant or a turtle or a dog were not uncommon IMG_2244creations formed by the moving white plumes.

It’s a small world when you’re a child.

Although I’m much, much older, I’m way behind the field of astronomy. There are many new or additional discoveries. I confess I’ve remained naive about complex astrophysical concepts. (You can read about that ( here.)

In a video, I watched Neil deGrasse Tyson explain the entire universe, from inception to now, in eight minutes (watch it here).

I see no other possible reaction to this video than jaw-dropping awe and a trance-like state as observed in the walkers in The Walking Dead.

I don’t think I have an education high enough to understand this. How did everything in the universe (including humans), for reasons not completely understood come into existence out of randomness, chaos, accident, and good timing?

IMG_0695This revelation left my face in a blank stare, mostly like my Physical Science class did. The analytics in my brain was in a scramble to find at least one brain cell up to the challenge of understanding this. No go. I got nothing. It’s beyond me.

All I can think of is that “randomness, chaos, accident, and good timing,” describe most of the events in my life. Maybe, that’s the point.

As large as the world is, though, it’s a small world wherever we are. A tiny pinpoint on the globe not visible from space, yet it’s all any of us needs. Our homes. It’s where love dwells. It’s here we raise our children, grow our gardens, and have family barbeques on the deck.

At night, we gather around the fire, look up and stare at the stars like it’s a drive-in movie. The vast blackness speckled with flickering lights filled with complex astrophysical concepts. Honey, did I ever tell you how all of us are stardust?

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson,  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted