Lately I have been reading a lot of Wait But Why, a really smart, well-done, and even funny blog on science, culture, the history of life on earth, life on MARS. Everything you might have found fascinating and some things probably even not (for me, rockets fell into this category), complete with amusing stick drawings. Right at my artistic level. The author, Tim Urban, has a talent for explaining complex topics in ways that a layman would not only understand but ENJOY. First, I got sucked in by this incredible post and then there were more along the way, too numerous to list here. Just go to the page, read the titles, click on some, fall down the rabbit hole, and we’ll talk again in 2017 when your mind is blown and filled with super fascinating stuff. Rewind! Maybe finish reading this blog first, thanks. The next huge topic that did me in was about our future and the future of AI (artificial intelligence) and how rapidly and exponentially technology is improving. Then, in the last few months we have the Tesla and Elon Musk posts. All of these topics have really given me some great perspective on the miracle that is our planet, how old it really is and the unimaginable changes it has gone through and will continue to go through, what we can do, are trying to do, and hopefully will do, to preserve the awesome life that we as a species have here on Earth right now, what the future holds for us in space, and how we will manage to continue the human species in millions of years once Earth is no longer habitable. These posts will help you imagine and even understand, somewhat, the hows, whys, and whens of colonizing MARS. Simply being aware of the vastness of space and the possibilities of what we have ahead of us, and what precious resources we have in our planet and our climate right now, that we take for granted, makes me see the sky above us in a completely different way that is hard to explain. It’s not just a blue sky above, it’s a sphere with a barrier, hiding the infinite universe behind it and new frontiers we have yet to explore.
Where does yoga come into this? I have been supremely lucky to live 5 minutes away from the Cylburn Arboretum and even luckier to have found an outdoor summer yoga class on Saturday mornings. With this sharpened perspective on our planet and how precious it is, I find myself soaking in the sun’s rays, looking up at the trees and sky in wonder. I’m now at a cross-section of hard science and hippy dippy yoga tree-hugging mindfulness. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive, right? I have a puppy now too, so I take him with me and he watches these strange humans do funny-looking poses from his crate. But once we’re done, he gets to go on a hike and see some pretty trees and flowers, and try to catch the occasional butterfly. My appreciation for all of this nature is so much deeper nowadays, with this new perspective and new opportunity to enjoy it.
When we consider what is needed to happen for our Earth to get to the state it isin, for it to be habitable and comfortable for us, and compare it to other options in space, we really see how much we take for granted- our ability to wear tshirts and flip flops or even just a sweater and breathe fresh air outside. And have food available that comes from the soil itself. This planet provides us with life and a very comfortable one at that. So what can we do to preserve it, give back, and be good stewards of the only home we know? I’m still learning how and I am open to suggestions and starting a dialogue on what we can do. I am a huge proponent of solar power and hope to get a Tesla some day (once the minivan days are past and especially once they come out with their more affordable mid range vehicle). We can also look for political candidates that share the same interest in fighting for our home. We can continue to educate ourselves on how best to promote a more sustainable system. I recently came across the compelling Story of Stuff project. They have several videos that spell out the issues and inspire action. Here is the first one, where you can see what they are about. You can sign up on their site for opportunities to become involved. In fact, they are having a free workshop in Baltimore on September 19 (register here), where they will discuss policies and ways to make a difference for the people and the planet (vague, I know, but I am not familiar enough myself and can’t attest to it, yet.). It’s definitely worth looking into. Perhaps I will blog about it later and share my impressions. If anyone is interested in attending, let me know!