Sometimes we (well me definitely) get up ourselves and think that the world, or even the universe revolves around us. At those times I try to remember the words of astronaut Jim Lovell who 50 years and a 12 days ago was privileged to see our world as it “rose”. The photograph “Earthrise”, taken by his fellow crew member Bill Anders, has become justly famous.
In a few months in late July, I look forward to revisiting The West Cork Hotel, 5km from where I now live, where my brother & I watched the moon landings on the black and white telly in their TV room – (TVs in hotel bedrooms being some way in the future, in Skibbereen anyway) and raising a glass to the memory.
Lovell said in a recent interview, “We’re so close to the Earth that our worlds are only as far as the eye can see. Right here, this building, our worlds exist within these walls. But suddenly, when you get out there and see the Earth as it really is, and when you realise that the Earth is only one of nine planets and it’s a mere speck in the Milky Way galaxy, and it’s lost to oblivion in the universe — I mean, we’re a nothing as far as the universe goes, or even our galaxy. So, you have to say, “Gee, how did I get here? Why am I here?”
It helps me keep some perspective. We are so very small but are capable of great achievements when we work together.