I am a child of the universe. Born shortly after the geodesic futuristic visions of the Montreal Expo, I grew up after the moon landing, watching the “big blue marble” on TVO. I spent my younger years watching re-runs of the original Star Trek, Doctor Who, and then came Star Wars. I loved the Star Wars trilogy and watched it each and every time it showed up on television (these were the days even before vcrs.) I wanted to be out there, having space adventures, meeting aliens of every colour, saving the galaxy. I love the image of stars rushing past and use it as my screensaver.
I have been in love with the universe since my earliest memories. I was convinced that I would grow up to live on a space station orbiting earth. I can’t say I really wanted to be an astronaut, since the suits seemed so bulky, but I wanted to live my life “out there” in the unknown, surrounded by stars and comets.
While I have long since joyfully, happily reconciled myself to living on this particular planet, part of my heart will always belong out in the stars. I became a Unitarian Universalism because it was the first religious tradition that I encountered that had the scope to include the universe in its stories. I love that we turn towards the Big Bang creation stories – the Great Story – of Connie Barlow based on the brilliant work of Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. I love that we can be inspired by the amazingness of the universe, without it needing a God or Creator to make it so. Unitarian Universalism allows me to live here, present and attentive to the beauty and sorrow of the earth, but also offers that gift of perspective: that we are such small specks in this grand, great, awesome, terrible universe. This video from NASA, part of their attempt to revive the space program, is a meditation on the wonders out there – beyond our knowledge, but not beyond our vision.