Friday, September 21, 2012

Summer and space

"The summer had inhaled and held its breath too long..."


I run from tv news, even local programs for anything other than weather forecasts, having lost trust in their ability to tell wheat from chaff.  While I spent this last full summer morning visiting with a life-long friend on what we call the stoop of our apartment,  actual news was being made as the space shuttle Endeavour took its farewell aerial tour above California landmarks en route to LA International Airport and its eventual home in LA's California Science Center.  I caught up with its flight as it made a final circle above LAX, then  began the six-mile last leg from the Harbor Freeway to touchdown.  I loved every minute of coverage I saw: the jumping, cheering children on school playgrounds; teary space program fans lining roadsides and elbow-to-elbow at Griffith Park Observatory; low-level passes above the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Santa Monica Pier; a tour of the 747 which impossibly ferried Endeavour across the country one last time.

There is not enough in the news that gladdens my heart.  Today was another creature altogether.  From my junior high science class and our first successful satellite through today's curtain calls for one incarnation of the U.S. space program, I have been among the awe-struck.  I choose to believe that our most extraordinary advances in space exploration await.   I've heard of a 100-year plan being put into effect, something so bold that the phrase "bending the space-time continuum" has been used in conjunction with it.  Possibly apocryphal or my own wishful thinking, I have no reason to doubt that it could be true.  Already I envy the wide-eyed. leaping students who will be here to cheer that mission's completion.

10 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I saw the shuttle today as I walked in my neighborhood with a friend, and I jumped in the air and shrieked it was so outstanding! I didn't expect to be so moved and wowed, but it was spectacular! My kids stood on the roof of their building in Koreatown and claimed they could "feel the wind" it flew so low! I'm so glad that they will always have that memory -- I share with you those expectations that the universe is to be discovered and find it all exhilarating --

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elizabeth - Wasn't it just the best? Some real wow moments recently, with the spectacular Mars Curiosity pin-point landing, now this. How truly wonderful to feel the wind of it, that gave me goosebumps. I could hear the accompanying fighter jet in South Pas, probably on the way to Disneyland from JPL. We have only begun, and it is such a fine beginning. xo

Antares Cryptos said...

Wistful smile. Eventually we will go where no one has gone before.
How have you been?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - THERE you are. Good to see your name here. I've been well. A toasty summer in So Cal. My son and I are up to the newest episode of DR. WHO. What about you? Welcome back. xo

Antares Cryptos said...

Good to hear. Yes, hot. We were forewarned.
You're ahead of me, but accomplished a Firefly marathon. Still great.
Thank you.

grrl + dog said...



I think witnessing the sun rise is miracle enough, and the in out breath of the body is another miracle.

You can have your space craft...

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - "Firefly," an eternal favorite here. Rewatching last season's "Fringe" in prep for its Friday opener. The mysteries of the universe make for such involving stories. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - What you describe ARE miracles. Man-made objects, even those that reach into space, may be wonders but not in the miracle category. I do feel appreciation for an object born of science and engineering that unites such a diverse population as ours, that moves us "en masse" to stillness. I see it as a good thing. xo

Rubye Jack said...

My God! How I love this album!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rubye - So do I! I remember the day I bought it, along with THE DOORS. The world was never quite the same again. xo