This time of year, my four-year-old granddaughter and I often go for walks, visit playgrounds, or just hang around outside our Barre home. She loves the outdoors any time of year, come snowflakes or sunshine. I have two favorite seasons, springtime, and fall.
We will discuss fall in the fall, but right now spring is upon us, and it is just beautiful here in the green mountain state. Life is simply exploding across our land, right now, and people my granddaughter’s age may actually appreciate it most. She is always bending down to examine an ant hurrying down the sidewalk, or to pick the biggest, yellowest dandelion she can find. (Bending down to see an ant, for her, is easier than it is for me.) Yesterday she chased robins across the playground, giggling at them as she ran.
I was recently reminded of the Louis Armstrong rendition of “What a Wonderful World,” somewhat because those same words came to mind as I worked on my small, raised garden patch the other day, but mostly because that song is on my Spotify recordings. Are they called recordings anymore? No, I don’t think so. In any case, it is on my playlist.
The following is possibly because the advancing years seem to now be advancing my way, but this world, in all its natural beauty, seems, to me, more and more infinitely intricate, vivid, and brilliantly designed lately. (Yes, I said designed.) The Earth, the skies, the seas, all teem with life; it is life that is sustained, life that eats, that reproduces, and life that is profoundly complex, from the largest tree and animal down to the smallest amoeba and bacteria.
People who know me best also know I am an avid follower of NASA, SpaceX, and of every other avenue of space exploration effort available for me to read about and observe. I have always been this way, watching everything the media had to offer, from even before Apollo 11 landed on the moon fifty-two years ago. I have corresponded with one NASA administrator, several apollo astronauts, and Neil Armstrong’s biographer over the years. That biographer sent me a signed copy of his book, titled “First Man”, to give to my grandson Jackson, and even sent a column I had written about Mr. Armstrong to the astronaut, the first man on the moon, to read. Pretty cool.
I understand the reasoning behind searching for life on other planets and agree that the search is important. Still, we have, so far, found no such life, not even one single, single celled form of life. It amuses me a bit that if a little robin like the one Nahla chased across the playground yesterday, or if even one of those ants she bends down to touch on the sidewalk ever wandered in front of the Perseverance Mars rover’s cameras, it would rock the scientific, political, and religious worlds to their cores.
As we, as humans, experience our world and all its beauty, here is a quote that should rock us: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20, The Holy Bible, NIV version.
Neil Armstrong saw the Earth from the moon and thought it was beautiful. Louis Armstrong saw the Earth from here, and thought it was wonderful. I agree with both.