Sunday, November 27, 2011
The Enormity Of It All.
I came across a very strong realization this past summer. Well maybe not a realization but more of a feeling I guess. We had just left Moab, Utah and the sun had begun to set. The reflections off of the mountains in the distance were one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Once we had driven around them, the sun seemed so far off and you could see the desert just trailing on and on. I don't know why then, I don't know why there, but at that moment I gained an appreciation for the enormity of it all. Back in high school, people made their jokes about 'the valley'. We as students were always told that we needed to get out of 'the valley'. No explanation was ever given as to why we needed to get out, but simply enough we needed to get out. I had been out before, but the concept of graduation was settling in as well. I had no reason to ever come back... The concept of home dwindled a bit. But out in the middle of Utah on that summer night, it really hit me how large of a place this is. For the first time in my life, I was so far from home, and in a place that nobody would recognize. Yes I was 2,000 miles from home, but it felt as if I were 200,000 miles from home. The fact of the matter is, I don't think it would have made a difference. I was away from everything I had known my whole life, and driving... just driving. Hour after hour passed and the only thing that had changed was the location of the sun in the sky. I kept thinking to myself, "I knew it was big, but I never knew it was this big". It related back to something I had learned only a short while ago. That the more you know, the more you realize you don't know. In this case, the more I had seen, the more I realized I hadn't seen. Being able to just gaze out at the stars every night gave me the same impression. The beauty of it all was indescribable. But I was only a kid, seeing all of this through one set of eyes. I am so small compared to everything around me. I am so small compared to everything I pass through. I am so small compared to all of the populations I encounter, and more importantly the ones I will never see, not in size, but in amount. I am only one, and on just this world there is over six billion. Who is to say for sure what is beyond our own planet. But the stars that came out at night provided proof that we are even smaller. All of this gave me a feeling that we don't matter. Nothing we do is going to make a difference on this planet. We are here to be proceeded and then forgotten. Kind of depressing isn't it? But at the same time it was also quite heart-warming for me. With all of us being such small creatures on such a small planet in the middle of who knows where, how amazing is it that we know the people that we know and love? Think about it. The chances of us coming into contact with the people we interact with on a daily basis are beyond anything we could imagine. Do you love somebody? I do. Many people in fact. And this realization of how big this place really is gave me a piercing appreciation of the relationships I have with my family and friends. The chances that we even met each other were slimmer than a crack in the sidewalk. I am just one story in a library full of billions and billions. A story that opened up a little more than I thought it would on this summer evening. I realized why I had to get 'out of the valley'. Hopefully I can pass the message along as best as I can to get out. People need to stop living in such a cube because you cannot fully appreciate something when you are on the inside of it. You also cannot fully appreciate something when you have never been on the inside. Take a moment, one small moment of your life to escape everything you know, so you are able to see something that you could have never imagined. It almost brought a tear to my eye when I did, and I know now that I need to escape every now and then, just to gain a bit of perspective on everything. We live in a pretty big place. Explore it, appreciate it, and be free.
Posted by Evan Camporeale at 4:16 PM