Saturday, January 5, 2008

Sunrise on Augustine Volcano

Another day begins on lower Cook Inlet.

The photo is from the webcam on Augustine Island (about 75 miles southwest of Homer) operated by the Alaska Volcano Observatory.


The is some primal joy in watching dawn break. Something that pre-dates humanity, deep in our mammalian genes. And deeper than that, even. All life seems to yearn toward the sun.

We are fortunate that our home planet rotates in such a way as to divide the light and darkness into managable periods. It is never dark for so long that those things that live off of light fail. The sun is never in the sky so long as to completely parch the world. There is always the hope of respite. Our planet lies in a narrow zone of space just far enough from the sun that water can exist in liquid form, a temeprate zone that has been the nursery of life on this planet. We are fortunate and every dawn reminds us on some level of that fact.

But then, if we weren't fortunate, we wouldn't even be here.

It's ironic that so much effort is spent seeking life on other planets while the miracle that is life on earth is so often under-appreciated. Humanity will never find anything in outer space as closely-related to us as our fellow creatures here on our home planet. We have been evolving together for billions of years. We are kin in deeper ways than we can realize. Perhaps that would be the true value of finding life elsewhere in the Universe. It would bring into focus just how special and unique life on Earth is. Because whatever we might find out there, it will be alien to us in a way that nothing on this earth is.

Just some idle thoughts.

1 comment:

Frank said...

Very well said. I love your pictures too.