Out of This World

I think everyone must occasionally feel a weight heavier than they can carry. If there is nowhere to set it down, the heaviness just becomes greater and greater. Gravity becomes tangible. Forward motion is stunted. Stuck. Having been there, I can reassure myself that it’s possible to make my way back to an atmosphere of light and direction. But how did I do it? Can I still be the person that I wasthe one that seemed so floaty and carefree glinting from star to star? Of course I can! That’s still me. I’m still me. There’s no need to be jealous of a previous self, how silly. My memory of that effortless me reflects a person inspired. And I quickly remember how that was my secret code to unstuckness. Inspiration!

Luckily for me, and hopefully millions of others simultaneously sharing this remarkable globe of earth, water, and sky, there was a recent epic spark of inspiration for all. Yes, SpaceX’s Inspiration4 crew, the first all-civilian mission to space!

It’s no secret that my family is a little bit space nerdy so naturally, we’d be pulled right into this inspirational orbit. It’s one of the things my husband and I discovered we had in common when we first met. I told him about going to astronomy classes with my Grandma when I was a kid and how I had plastered hundreds of glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling. He told me about the large telescope he had built from scratch in his younger years. We also found out that as teenagers we both loved the Weather Channel and would fall asleep to its music; meteorology, but still in the realms. Weird, I know! The movie Contact has always been one of my favorites, too. Then fast forward and my daughter built her own telescope out of recycled materials completely unprompted by our own admiration of the cosmos.  She said the absolutely cutest thing when she first tried it out. I had to include it in my mini-book called Moon Sugar if you so desire. Also, we live in an International Dark Sky Park and had the privilege of attending its inauguration while peering through some epic telescopes. My young son enjoys the cosmos, too, sprawling out on the ground to stargaze. We got a glimpse of the International Space Station hurtling overhead and a good look at Comet Neowise from across the canyon. How could we not be drawn to our astro-friends?

Comet Neowise

So anyway, when we heard about this newest space mission, we were intrigued and especially excited after watching the documentaries of the crew. Such likable people with awesome stories! I suddenly felt a burst of inspiration thinking about the excitement they must feel to be a part of something so grand. To leave the weight of the world behind for just a few days. To look out at the only home we’ve ever know with a bird’s astronaut’s eye view . . . whoa.

Not only are these regular people, albeit exceptional ones, learning how to be astronauts for the first time, but they were also ambassadors of the idea that amazing things can and do happen, even right now (cue Crystal Pepsi commercial). And all the while, raising money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Can you imagine the courage, confidence, and faith they needed to take this on? I don’t know about you, but watching those four blast into space and then successfully return home sure shook up our ordinary days in the best way possible.

As a kid, I could be a worry-wart and I’d let my calmness get ruffled up. I remember my mom telling me how all I needed to do was think of the vastness of the universe. Imagine how teeny tiny your worry is comparatively. I still think of that now and she is right.  I can’t help but compare my current challenges with the bold steps the Inspiration4  just managed.  If they can forge that path ahead, then I can surely overcome these earthly twists in the road. Finding something inspirational helps cut a tether to limitations, giving flight to new possibilities.  There’s a lot of calm to be had wrapped up softly in inspiration.

Watching the launch countdown, I can imagine hearing our great architect of this world and beyond encouraging us. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Go, go, go! Wish, dream, explore, inspire! There’s so much more to know . . . here and written in the stars.

What inspires you?



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