Hundreds of millions of people were fascinated when they saw the first colour photograph of earth.
This supposedly huge chuck of rock we call home looked so small and fragile, a tiny blue globe in the vast expanse of space.
Today, the photograph still evokes a powerful image. The earth looks so small and so vulnerable.
And, so beautiful!
It is a beautiful world we live on. Sights, sounds and smells that take our breath away are too numerous to mention. Beautiful mountains, flowers, glaciers, fields, forests, stunning waterfalls, icebergs, and the colours of fall take your breath away. Take your pick. What a smorgasbord we have to choose from to enjoy!
A meadow full of flowers, a desert in full bloom after a rain, the stillness of a lake at sunset reflecting the shoreline or sky – the subjects of numerous famous paintings and jigsaw puzzles.
We can take a walk on a beach and let the sand rise through our toes. We can walk through a forest and hear the birds chirping and the squirrels chattering. We can climb a hill or mountain and enjoy a stunning view.
The world offers us smells that make the senses tingle. Flowers, freshly-cut grass, and the purity of the air after a thunderstorm. How about the amazing purity of the rain forest, or even freshly-cultivated earth, or sweet clover along a rural road?
We are fascinated by what nature does. Beavers build dams that still amaze today’s engineers, honeybees build hives that produce the nectar of the gods, and termites build homes that house hundreds of thousands.
How about the utter dominance of tens of thousands of wildebeests in Africa during migration, or the herds of buffalo that used to roam the North American plains? A colony of ants going about their chores? Just what are they doing?
The brilliance of a rainbow, the dazzling northern lights, even the magnificence when looking up in the sky wondering exactly what is up there.
How did we get here and why are we here? Even a puffy white cloud has a unique beauty many appreciate.
There is magic in hearing the howl of a wolf at night, the call of an elk in fall, the roar of an elephant on the African plains. How about the breeze blowing through the trees or hearing a thunderstorm off in the distance? Water rippling softly in a brook, or waves or a lake or ocean crashing against the shore?
At times, it may get too cold and it may get too hot, but is there anything better than enjoying a sunny day? There is nothing better than feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, or an intermittent cool breeze on a hot day.
The world is such a beautiful place it makes you wonder. As humans, we create poisons which we use on this beautiful planet to destroy and kill. We use barges to dump garbage in the oceans and we dump raw sewage into our rivers and lakes. Effluent from industrial mills affects water so bad downstream animals won’t touch it. Slowly, we humans are poisoning this beautiful rock we call home.
Given all that has been provided for us on this beautiful earth, what does that say about us?