When I was a child the world was infinite, spreading out in all directions without end. From the sugar sand beaches of the northern Gulf Coast through the hushed waters of the Okefenokee, out to the sprawling deserts of Nevada, up to the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness separating Montana from Idaho, my world was vast beyond imagination.
My Earth was a plentiful place, a never-ending source of anything I needed. All one had to do was look hard enough and nearly anything could be had.
Now I am old, and we have all seen the world from a much different perspective. Photos and live video shot from off the world. They reveal a small and fragile place. They show us we are even smaller and even more vulnerable than we ever imagined.
Perspective changes things, or it should. To the thinking man, a new perspective brings wisdom. To the dullard, disbelief.
When I was a child, there was a lot of air, a lot of water, a lot of land.
Now that I am old I can clearly see our air is a tight, thin band clinging to the blue ball hanging in space. I am very aware that all the water that ever existed on this Earth is still here. It is still here cycling through its stages, banking away remnants of everything it touches.
The Earth is finite. There are limits here.
I am old, but to the Earth I am nothing, a speck, a flash, a mote. I too am finite.
I wish I could say the world was a better place than it was before I used it. I wish I could say that.
In my span I witnessed the air lose its crystal clarity. Water I drank with cupped hands is clean no more. Nothing escapes the touch of greed.
Humankind too is finite. We will every one discover this eventually. When the last of us gasps out the last dying breath, the finity of man will be proven. But there will be no one to know it. Homo Sapiens no more.
We won't know it then, and for the most part we won't know it now. Save the bad news for another day. Let's play pretend!
Days too are finite.