It’s hot as balls here in Seattle. It was 95 degrees today, it was 95 degrees yesterday, and guess what? It’s going to be 95 degrees tomorrow. I suppose I’m pretty strange in that I suffer from seasonal depression in summer rather than fall or winter, but I would imagine that weather like this is too hot for most of you out there as well. The only good part about a hot day is the night that follows. Summer nights seem to be filled with subdued energy, where people are out and active, but are outside to relax and escape the heat that is trapped indoors.
It’s nights like these where I find myself studying the clear sky and thinking (because it’s still too hot to do much of anything else). Thinking not about the mundane, persistent topics that normally roll around in my mind, but about the universe and our place in it. Every time I’m blown away just by considering how distant other celestial objects are, the potential for life to exist on other planets, or just how small and isolated our home planet seems to be.
Though such thoughts are filled with wonder and awe, they are also seasoned with melancholy. I look forward to mankind’s development of technology that will allow us to travel the galaxy, discover planets capable of sustaining life, and even make contact with other intelligent beings, but I can be almost certain that I will not live to see any of these dreams come to fruition. I suppose I should consider myself lucky to live in a time where men have landed on the moon, probes have explored and given us amazing data about the planets of our solar system, and where we are only a stone’s throw away from sending manned missions to Mars, but I still wish I could stick around to see more of the future.
What about those of you reading this right now? Does anyone else ever consider our place in the universe? Does anyone else feel bad that they will miss some of the greatest advancements in human history, or am I just a gigantic nerd? (Don’t answer that last part.)