Thursday, August 5, 2010

Look Upward and Outward: Cheyenne Flying Thunderbirds Air Show

During Cheyenne Days there are moments
when much of the town pauses to look beyond itself.

As we prepared for the Flying Thunderbirds air show
vehicles filled every parking space near the
community college -- and then lined up and down
the highway.  On a weekday! In the middle of the day!
(?Is this craziness or is this wisdom?)

Children stared up at the sky
as the six jets turned, swooped, and dove in perfect sync.
Smoke streamed behind as some broke off
for a solo dive-spin, duet, or quartet.

Amazing! And mesmerizing.
Young parents relaxed while teens, children,
and even toddlers gazed above.

It reminds me of how Plato describes the power of
looking above and beyond our own selves
in astronomy and other outward-looking activities:
Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards
and leads us from this world to another.

This is true for the children and youth,
some at-risk, who attend camp at the new-ish 
Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus 
near our family ranch in Crowell, Texas.

I asked my brother, why astronomy?
He described how gazing into the universe takes 
us beyond ourselves so that we might
gain a different kind of perspective
and move on to find new meaning in life.

It was later that I realized he had quoted Plato.

How I Love That!
The creative and yet practical
ways Plato addresses struggles!!!

How do you look upward and outward?
The night sky? Cloud gazing?
Civic Park or Cherry Creek at sunset
as homeless unroll sleeping bags?

Click below to leave a comment
so that we might brainstorm together about how
to look beyond ... and expand our souls.

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