Today is the day we celebrate this wonderful world. I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot of this big blue marble and to see some wonderful things, places, cultures and natural wonders. Today, rather than celebrating another traveler – I would prefer to celebrate the place we all travel on and the greatest traveler we all know. The planet Earth – Terra – Mother.
In a year- Earth travels about 940 million kilometers around the Sun, however, this does not include the distance the Solar System has moved around the Galactic Centre during that time. Nor does it include the distance you have traveled as the earth rotates every 24 hours. Since we are all on this wonderful spaceship – each of us is actually traveling further than anyone (and the same distance) every second of every day. We are all great space explorers. When it comes to cheap flights – planet Earth gives us some of the cheapest. Tenerife is just one of her many places that fly through space on her surface.
Whether you want to travel closer to Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, or Mars – she allows it. Whether you want to go to the far side of the sun or take a vacation to the close side. And then there is the moon…but that’s another story.
The symbol of the Earth consists of a cross over a circle and here is a funny thing, humans always thought that the other planets moved, but they actually thought that Earth was standing still! It wasn’t until the 1700’s that some radicals started to really dig how the Earth travels.
It’s not uncommon to think of Earth as a person or a diety – called Gaia by her friends and Mother by her children, she is most often thought of as a woman – and who can imagine a man with such incredible fertility? Right? Of course, a lot of the ‘big’ religions think this is a terrible thing but then they say to ‘honor thy mother’ and continue to deface and devalue the biggest mother of them all. Our mother planet where (as far as we know) all life was born.
A very funny thought today is that for most of human history – people thought of Earth as being a flat, one dimensional place. Of course, you can’t flatten a good woman and Earth demonstrated a lovely spherical shape as humans began to circumnavigate and even visit outer space!
And that brings us to today, it really wasn’t until seeing that big blue marble photo above that anyone thought about the fact that this planet is all connected. That things you do in China (or anywhere) actually affect what happens everywhere else. It’s no coincidence that spaceflight and the modern ecological movement began at about the same time.
Earth agreed to a very short interview with me when I caught up with her this week.
Vagobond: Where is your favorite destination?
Earth: Well, all of my regions have their charm, but to be honest it is the oceans that I love the best. The constant movement, sound and beauty – the diversity of life. The oceans are really like my womb and what woman doesn’t love being able to create life?
Vagobond: Are you upset at the way humans have treated you?
Earth: What mother wouldn’t be? But you know, the dinosaurs shit all over me too and look what happened to them. Like ‘the Dude’ I endure – by the way, I’m a big fan of The Big Lebowski. I feel like if more people were to watch that film, the planet would be better off. I hope that in a few centuries Dudism is a major force on my surface.
Vagobond: What’s your most dangerous travel travel moment?
Earth: Actually, it’s hard to say but I think when the planet between Mars and Me got smashed by a comet, that was a close call. You have to be careful of those who travel with no plan – sometimes it can be beautiful, but often it can be cataclysmic. In this case, I was given a beautiful moon after the break up but the impact was large, I have huge craters to show for it. And, you know, we were pretty deeply involved. At the time, there was an advanced civilization that moved between both our surfaces – no traces remain of course – at least not obvious enough traces for my arrogant human children to find -yet.
Vagobond: Fascinating. I thought I knew something of astronomy but I’d never heard that before. Can you share any other secrets with our readers? Maybe you have some travel tips?
Earth: Actually, I’m filled with secrets but now isn’t the time to reveal them, but I”m happy to share a few travel tips that will make your life easier. They’re pretty common sense but it’s surprising how many people ignore them.
1) Don’t shit where you eat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about feces – I’m saying that you need to take care of your home or else it becomes incredibly unpleasant. In this case, just look at my atmosphere and oceans, all the garbage and you should get what I mean.
2) Time heals all wounds. No matter how much destruction or devastation is caused, eventually things return to a balance. Chaos is a myth. The universe is orderly and that includes the lives of humans and planets.
3) Time is the only true wealth. Whie I’m very old by human standards, my clock is ticking down. Eventually I will transform and become something else. It’s for that reason, that I treasure each moment. Sure, it hurts to feel my resources pulled out and sent into space, but in fact – as long as I have time, I am the wealthiest planet around.
Vagobond: I thought there would be more ‘green’ tips – aren’t you going to suggest that we take better care of you, use less water, develop clean energy and things like that?
Earth: Why would I do that? I don’t tell a deer not to make a path in the woods. I don’t tell termites not to eat trees. Humans are just another animal species and you will do what you do. You think that you are deviating from nature, but in fact – there are lessons you have to learn and as your mother, I would love to save you from the pain those lessons might cause but I know that the pain is what will actually make you learn. Okay…well, just one thing. Enough with the plastic – it’s everywhere and it doesn’t go away.
Vagobond: Thank you for the wonderful interview and the wonderful world Mother.
Earth: You’re welcome – it’s nice to actually be noticed!