“When darkness falls over the archipelago, space opens up for big ideas—a time when we are all in the same boat, at the mercy of the few who have the power to change everything that gives meaning to life.”
Take a look at the November sky over Gråskjær. When darkness falls over the archipelago, space opens up to big ideas—a time when we’re all in the same boat, at the mercy of the few who have the power to change everything that gives meaning to life.
There are supposed to be more than 100 billion stars in our galaxy; Milky Way. Our Sun is one of the stars in the Milky Way. It is estimated that more than half of the stars – or suns – in the Milky Way have planets around them, thus forming a solar system. The Milky Way is just one of more than 100 billion galaxies in the part of the universe that we can observe. Therefore, it is estimated that the universe contains billions of trillions of solar systems. Although the universe is incomprehensibly vast, life on Earth is unfathomably diverse.
The age of the universe is 13.7 billion years. Life arose on Earth about 3.8 billion years ago. And only in the last 300,000 years have humans walked the earth. Our branch of the human race has outdone all others, and has been the only branch for the past 50,000 years. Those of us wandering the Earth’s crust today have been here for less than 0.1 percent of that time.
In the grand scheme of things, we humans are not even a speck of dust, neither in time nor in space. But in the small context, we can move each other’s worlds—like the beat of a butterfly’s wings can whip up a storm, writes Swedish author Bjorn Ranlid.
In this entire vast universe, in the short time humans have been here, we have become the only known species with self-awareness – having the ability to think about their existence. It follows from our self-awareness that we are the only species capable of giving love to others without demanding anything in return. As individuals within our species, we have the ability to see each other, communicate on the same frequency, create community, give and receive love, affirmation and closeness. In a fragment of the infinite, in a glimpse of the eternity, we are among the 107 billion people throughout the ages who have had the opportunity to see, reflect, create, and connect.
Among people, “we” sometimes appears as a little universe within a universe as we orbit each other in microcosm—something that touches and changes us in the depths of who we are. Like the ferry skipper I met 40 years ago in these waters, who awakened my love of the sea, archipelagos, and boats.
In the most turbulent epoch of my life, when so few autocrats seriously believe that a political aim can advocate the use of force which in the final result overshadows the great winter skies above us all, the feeling of liberty is most intense. . In a little boat somewhere in the Milky Way.
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