by Christine Adams Beckett
It seems a peculiar phenomenon
That astronauts exploring space
Have always looked back to gaze
At the wondrous glass marble
From whence they came.
Their idle time not spent contemplating
The vastness or the voids incomprehensible,
But home: a blue-green sphere
Suspended in Blackness.
It is poised in beautiful serenity
As if by an imaginary cord of thick mono filament
Like the mobiles dangling from the ceilings
Of their children’s rooms, perched to
Fire the synapses of their new, unspoiled minds,
By an antigravity push pin.
As the wayfarers orbited the arc of their planet,
Their rocket maneuvering like a corkscrew,
Through their sophisticated port holes
Tickling their peripheral vision:
The sun, just another star in the sky,
The moon, one of many,
The earth, a unique life-sustaining biosphere
Protected by the thinnest aura, a mere glowing suggestion.
Ecstasy and awe pinpointed a spot in their abdomens
And filled it with a ripple of excitement,
Standing their unshaven whiskers on end
With an all-encompassing understanding.
Fearlessly observing the larger whole,
Ignoring the precariousness of their
Dangerous, death-defying point of view.
It is a macro conception of interconnectedness,
Witnessed at a cosmic level, our planet.
Lightening storms flash like intermittent fireworks
Miniscule from a distance. Curtains of illumination,
The aurora borealis, caress the face of The Arctic.
The explorers transcend a sense of separation and
Invite a love affair from afar.
The Overview Effect, they call it:
A singular perspective of belonging,
Of responsibility for every life
On our cloud-shrouded orb.
The same universal atoms
Are personal ones:
Matter creating life
Of all forms
At the beginning of time,
Exploding and expanding,
Connecting us to All and all.
The DNA that lies hidden in
Tiny biological human codes
Belong to your neighbor in Zimbabwe
And Georgia and Shanghai.
In the stable trunk of the tree,
Older than a Tasmanian Huon pine,
Supporting branches that don’t way,
Lies one set of East African Parents:
Mitochondrial Eve, Chromosomal Adam.
We are their children,
Offspring of the blue planet,
Connected on levels incomprehensible from the troposhpere,
So small that it is as distant from us
As the furthest galaxy.
Upon re-entry, our cosmic surfers will shed their tiny white suits
And climate-controlled boots
And mirrored helmets
To be re-enveloped
By their perfectly protected surroundings:
Solar winds, its iron core,
A perfect distance from that nurturing sun star,
Tilted on is axis at the most optimum angle,
With the precise ration of needed elements.
Here they make their intimate relations
Personal and profound
And able to be touched.