Jupiter threw me for a bit of a loop.
A little over two weeks ago, I got to go stargazing with some good friends. There were other groups there too that had brought their own equipment, including the standard telescopes as well as some gigantic binoculars on steroids. We could see a few constellations really clearly, and there was even the chance to see Jupiter’s stripes as well as four of its moons.
We all met at around four in the afternoon and drove out to this incredible open preserve a little over an hour from home. A winding road led us to a small parking lot at the mouth of a meadow, which was surrounded completely by looming mountains and a variety of evergreen trees climbing into the sky. Small dirt trails circled the tall grass with a few wooden fences to mark the boundary between the flat land and a steep drop-off that led down to a babbling stream. Delicate purple-and-white flowers dotted the tops of thin green stems, dancing gently as a breeze flowed down the hills. A few picnic benches were scattered throughout the edges of the trails, proving to be the perfect place to admire the landscape.
As I walked those trails, I tried not to think too much. I was on spring break. Why worry?
But by the time the sun made the hills its grave*, I was back to my usual habits. There’s something about the stars that make me more reflective than usual. It’s probably because I end up feeling so small in a world that’s so immense. There’s so much we don’t know, and that’s sometimes just a really overwhelming thought.
That night was perfectly clear right up until around ten o’clock, when clouds decided to take back their reign. Two layers were no longer enough to keep me warm, and my fingers felt like they had decided to take a trip to Antarctica without the rest of me.
Junior year has made me question so many different things, including my own abilities and worth. That night under the stars made me question even more, like if we as human beings even have a purpose… (cue the mini existential crisis)??? But by the end of it, I think the questioning may have done me some good.
Yes, I have no idea what the big picture really is here. I’m scrambling to get an endless list of items finished so I can set myself up for a good future, and sometimes it does seem like things are going to waste. But honestly, whatever I do and whoever I decide to be will be worth it in the end, because there is always going to be a place for every person in the world. Society is tough, but maybe the world isn’t.
The universe is too vast and beautiful not to reflect upon and admire… and life would be boring if we knew all the answers.
*Listen to the song below to see where I got this from.