Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.
J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Return of the King"
The path to the universe
that begins beyond your window,
outside the barrier of your door,
is one that you can take at any time.
Where the path goes depends on you. . .
It takes so little to appreciate the stars. . .
eyes, of course, to gaze with new purpose
upon a night sky we have
seen many times before. . .
and ears, perhaps to hear the ancient sky myths
of when we thought gods ruled the stars
the planets across our skies.
It takes a bit more to
understand the stars and planets
a journey of learning open to all, that many have taken.
The planets beckon to us.
These other worlds that we only imagined to explore
have recently hosted our robot explorers,
which stirred their dust, sniffed their atmospheres,
by and measured their magnetic fields
and imaged their cloudtops.
A philosopher once called Mars
a metaphor for the future of the human race.
It has always been so. . .
once a god, then a symbol of war,
and finally a world to explore. . .
Mars now resides in our collective consciousness
as a place to
go. . .