The light from a star, perhaps a billion years old from an extinct civilization, focused on my retina and sent signals via the optic nerve to my brain. Some brains have taken these signals and—motivated by their dreams inspired by this light—built space shuttles to take human beings to the moon, vehicles to mars, and spacecraft with cameras into deep space to bring back pictures of places humans may never visit. Others have built religious experiences and stories around their interpretation of the meaning this ancient light. These stories affected perspectives on the how to live and meaning of life for cultures across centuries.
A solitary light flashed from near Camp Shurman, someone was saying hello from above the Inter Glacier. We waited for the sound of massive ice blocks and rocks tumbling down the mountain and heard nothing. Tonight the mountain was unusually silent, except for the sound of a strong, warm wind moving across the rocky ridge where the sound of a shutter clicking every 30 seconds lulled me to sleep.
When our sun finally burns out, will someone a billion years from now—laying out under the stars—catch our star in their eye, a billion years gone, and think about who we were?
From my Tumblr blog: http://lukeallenhumphrey.tumblr.com/