Look around at our planet sometime. I mean really look; don't open up the newspaper and see what it says, don't talk to your friends to get their opinions and most especially don't turn on the television. Don't open a book or magazine and don't search on the internet to see what others think. No, really, jump in the car or take a walk and look around.
If you really look, you may discover that this is a beautiful planet. It is the most wonderful inhabited ball in this galaxy, with it's incredible and tumultuous history going back through time thousands, millions, billions and more years.
You may look at the history of mankind on this spinning rock, as I have, and you'll find a species which has created awesome things in an incredibly short amount of time. You'll find pyramids, tombs, palaces, roads, buildings and ordinary homes.
Or you could examine the story of life, how it has changed over the eons and evolved into today's forms. You might visit the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History and look at the dinosaurs, and wonder what happened to them. A short drive and you can see thousands or even millions of bones from the La Brea tar pits.
Go to the park and look at a tree and wonder, how did it get there and what is it's history? Look closer at an insect crawling up the bark, and think about the little creature's wanderings as it searches for food and whatever else it needs. Look a little to the left or right, and you might spy some flowers, perhaps being visited by the local bees. Move your head downwards, and you could see grass, or perhaps some mud and a lone wasp, stopping for a moment to pick up a load of mud to build it's nest.
So you see, this is a beautiful planet with an awesome history. It travels around an active and very much alive star along with countless companions - the planets, moons, asteroids, comets and lord knows what else. These bodies exist in one arm of a spiral galaxy that we have named the Milky Way, rotating slowing around a massive black hole in the center.
Ah, it's a beautiful world. All you have to do is open your eyes and look.
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Unless otherwise noted, all photos and text is Copyright © Richard G Lowe, Jr.