Time & Space – Day 16

30-Day Writing Challenge

Outer space has always been a place of wonder and magic for me. I remember when I first discovered how light traveled through space and it’s something I think about any time looking into the night sky.

Did you know when looking at a star, you’re looking thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years into the past? The light from a star takes a long time to travel from them to us, so we’re actually seeing the past… We’re going back in time! 

Another mind-blowing fact is that a lot of the stars have already exploded and we’re watching their pasts unfold from a distance. 

Once I understood this idea, I’ve never been able to get it out of my mind. The way I think about space and time is completely different. 

Let’s take this idea of light traveling through space and flip it around… So if there are other intelligent life forms in space, then they’re most likely seeing into our ancient past and not today. 

Now when thinking about the scale and how far back in time we’re seeing or being seen, then it puts our lives into perspective… meaning we’re a small flash in the pan of time and our impact on the wider universe is minuscule, basically non-existent. This might sound terrifying for some of us hoping to make a dent in the universe, but after sitting with this thought I’ve realized it brings freedom. 

Think about it… If the actions I take throughout my life are meaningless, then I’m able to lift the internal pressure off giving myself the freedom to enjoy my life for what it is, not always comparing my accomplishments to others. 

Next time you look into the night sky, I want you to remember that you’re looking back in time.