Reviews & Misc

Earth – I Woke Up on The 3rd Rock Today.

Sitting on my little porch (on Earth, as it turns out), overlooking some lawn space and a bike trail, I suddenly realized –

DANG!  It IS Earth!  I get to actually visit the third planet!Visiting planet Earth, the 3rd Rock from the Sun.

I’m sitting on it right now.

I suppose there are things more awesome, but – like what?

The circle of atmosphere, expanded above and around me, horizon to horizon, is overwhelming. I get to actually sit my own self down on the surface of this relatively small planet.  Though it is huge to my mind, in a solar system that is vastly more huge.

I am OUT THERE, here!  It’s a real place,

unique in this solar system, and perhaps unique, or at least rare, in the whole galaxy – astounding!

I am even now circling with its surface – rapidly. But it’s not scary.

It all kind of gently thrills me.

I imagine myself having been “out there” somewhere else, staring,

where I can “see” this large handful of planets, the “solar system” – also “out there” at great distances in a great dark emptiness decorated with pinpricks of light. I need some expert guidance to discern which pinpricks are the planets of this solar system I’m at the edge of.  And I say, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to go visit one of them?”

Well, turns out it’s possible; there’s even one that’s friendly to humans – “The 3rd Rock from the Sun”.  There are dangers, but in general it’s likely to be ok to visit.

So Boom!  Here I am sitting on a lawn chair on that little porch – in a bit of a shock!  Here I sit  – having raced somehow through great distances of mostly emptiness, awakened in what feels like my own bed, moving to the porch and lo and behold I AM on the 3rd planet, looking up.  Astounding.

Oh – then we went for a drive. Got caught in a magnificent downpour.  What an odd thing on this planet – tons and tons of water can be floating around above us, then come down so dramatically, but not drown us in the process.  Astounding!

Earth seems to be an interesting place.

And what can I call the feeling that comes when I realize the incalculable reaches

of dark and light above me right now and in every direction?

I get to be a visitor on a planet “out there”!

I’m already growing to kinda like it. From this little porch – flowers I have, tomatoes, and grasses, trees and shrubs I have, and birds, dragon flies, ground squirrels, neighbors’ dogs being walked past. Clouds I have. Breezes. Sunshine. Rain. Talk about varieties of art forms!

I can even travel around a bit – see what it’s like in other parts. Fascinating.  It turns out there are other humans here, who seem interesting. This is good stuff. I’m glad I get to visit.

Have you been here?

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What some smart people have said …

We can’t actually fly to another planet.  But we can capture that sense of having just tumbled out to life on a new world by looking at our own world in unfamiliar ways.  – Richard Dawkins.

We should live every day like people who have just been rescued from the moon.  – Thich Nhat Hanh

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.  – Iris Murdoch

“Dear old world,” she murmured, “you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”  – L M Montgomery

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How would you say it?

I bet some of you readers can write a little piece more interesting on something like “awareness of extraordinary ordinariness”. That’d be fun to read. We’d like to see what you have! I bet we’ll be nice. (Add a comment, or email me.)

(The quotations are from “Nothing is Worth More Than This Day” by Kathryn and Ross Petras.)
(See also, “Borrowed Earth,” and “Young Climate Prophets” on this site.)
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