Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blue Marble

I am sitting with a cup of tea and a house so silent I can hear the bunnies chewing. Yesterday I dropped the girls off with my mother, after meeting her halfway. They will spend a couple of days with her for the school break. I am thankful for the child-less time, as it gave the the chance to stay up until 2am at a Somali wedding last night, sleep in until 12:30pm today, and muck out the chicken coops and other dreaded chores. My yard labors treated me to an amazing view of a golden, full moon rising.

Seeing the moon's face reminded me of an interview I heard on NPR with a Muslima astronaut, Anousheh Ansari. She said that the greatest moment of her space travel was looking at Earth, shining and blue. What's amazing is that almost every astronaut will give the same answer... something about seeing Earth from a distance provides context for how small and precious and fragile we all are.

Today, looking at the moon, I am reminded of this and wonder at my life. I rush around all day, cleaning, typing, working... and in the big picture it means nothing. I marvel that I am conscious, and that my love for my children can be so deep. It is so implausible that my body lives and works to love them, and meanwhile the cosmos is indifferent to this love. Most of the time, I feel like my labors are fruitful-- something about looking over to the moon makes me realize I cannot take myself so seriously.

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