How often do you look at the moon? What do you think when you do? Here’s what comes to my mind: You can see the craters on the moon with your bare eyes. Those craters are 400,000 km away. That’s 902,000 Empire State Buildings stacked on top of one another.
If you duplicated Earth again and again into a long chain of giant marbles, you’d have to copy and paste it 29 times, then jump from Earth to Earth, in order to reach the moon. Given the Earth’s diameter of about 13,000 km, that’s a long flight. Think Sydney to LA, a 15-hour trip, then imagine doing it 29 times in a row. If you took one a day, that’s almost a month of daily plane rides from hell to get to the moon.
Or, you can look at it right from your backyard. No telescope needed. You can see Copernicus, Tycho, and Aristoteles, all craters dozens of kilometers wide, named after famous astronomers. Sometimes, you can even see the edge of the 2,500 km–wide basin at the South Pole, an impact hole so big the entire European Union would fit into it. Worth blinking a few times, don’t you think?
If you ever feel down, or uninspired, or lost in the minutiae of everyday life, remember: Miracles are all around us — but only if we stop and notice them. When we’re too busy to look up, we don’t just miss out on wonder and awe. We feel as if the wonderful and awe-inspiring doesn’t exist at all.
It’s nice to shoot for the moon when you feel on top of the world, but whenever you don’t, it’s enough to just look at it.