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May 19 2008

10 Things I Like About the Visible Universe

I’m not sure why I was waxing nostalgic about our planet last night, but it occurs to me that there are some pretty cool things about life, the universe and our little rock, third out from a mediocre star. In some semblance of order, here are 10 things that move me:

10. Gazing down the length of a river tightly hemmed in by overhanging trees in full autumn colors

9. Observing the intricacies of the planet from the peak of a lonely mountain

8. Stopping to listen to the almost tangible hush while walking or skiing through a forest during a heavy snow

7. Swimming in a clear lake during a late summer rain shower

6. Inhaling the recognizable but indescribable scent in the air that announces an imminent thunderstorm

5. Noticing the day each year when all the winter-bare trees and fields are finally green again

4. Embracing the isolation of a vast expanse of terracotta desert

3. Watching the sun sink below the horizon, when the horizon is a foreign sea

2. Standing in a wide-open field of waist-high grass facing eyes closed into a warm southwesterly breeze

1. Looking straight up at the sky at 2:00am on a moonless night and seeing the soft white arc of our galaxy stretch across it

Thanks for taking the time to read. Please comment with your own observations as I’d love to turn this into an ongoing discussion, or at least a list I can refer to when I need a little inspiration.

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