Tiny Enormity

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.