Check out this incredible image of the Earth, taken from one million miles away. It was taken by NASA’s DSCOVR camera (aptly called “EPIC”) this month. It’s remarkable in that it’s the first non-stitched together image of Earth taken since 1972. Due to the Earth’s size and the difficulty of positioning a camera far enough away to capture the whole globe, true “blue marble” images have, until now, been hard to come by. Most of the ones we’re familiar with are composites.
Looking at this inspires a certain awe. Everyone you’ve ever loved has lived right there. Every important leader, poet, scientist, alive or dead, has lived right there. Every story that’s ever moved you was imagined and written there. Every poem that has illuminated your heart was conceived there, on that fragile, beautiful orb. Every bitter enemy that has imagined their foe had absolutely nothing in common with them… all natives of that same place. Every special place you’ve ever been or dreamed of going… all right there. Every flower you’ve thought beautiful, every tree, every body of water that’s sparkled its invitation to you, every trip you’ve ever taken, no matter how interminable it seemed… all there. Everything you’ve ever found beautiful has been seen from there.
Consider also the great improbability of not just life on that one spinning blue rock, but of your own life. Remember the huge mathematical odds against you being you: of all the men and women who could have met in the world, and of all the encounters they might have had, and of all the cells that could have fought their way to joining, what were the chances for the two that made you? How incredible that you’re here at all, a highly unlikely mix of traits and emotions and attributes on this blue planet around a small star in what so far seems a vast, empty universe. How can it be that we’re here at all?
And, that most human of all questions… why?
Just that, no answers this morning, no pithy observations or humorous take. Just sheer awe at who we are and what is happening on that pretty planet photographed from a million miles away.