It is impossible to learn about and grapple with the vastness of space without also calling to question who we are as humans living on this pale blue dot. We used some of Carl Sagan’s wisdom to investigate these themes more deeply looking at the quotation:
“All that you see, all that we can see, exploded out of a star billions of years ago, and the particles slowly arranged themselves into living things, including all of us… The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff.
For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.“
More to come as documentation from that conversation later. For now we followed our curiosity into a closer look at who Carl Sagan was and what he devoted his life to working on. This lead us to Voyager 1 and 2 where we exploded in questions about how far they were, how are they still sending data to earth, how are they still being powered this many years later… Some of our questions were answered in a class inquiry with the help of google but many were not. We are learning to be ok not knowing all the answers, it can be hard sometimes. We also stumbled across this live NASA tracker of both Voyagers and were stunned by the speed and by the distance ticking up in real time. Feel free to check it out as a family, perhaps see what questions come up for you as well or how math could be woven into your conversation.
Growing our understanding of our pale blue dot, it’s history and the millions of years that came before us we have also been trying to gain a better understanding of the land we share our lives with today. Inspired by the Skwxwú7mesh cultural teachings shared by Leigh Joseph in a virtual presentation recently I am looking for ways to bring us into relation with our environment instead of continuing the settler mindset of seeing nature as resource. In order to do that we need to get to know our flora and fauna relatives! We have taken our first steps towards that with an exploration both scientific and artistic of local leaves and the start of our local field guide.
Our learning continued with the help of David Suzuki and the CBC program The Nature of Things. Here is a link to the episode we have slowly been working through about trees.
Turns out not only are trees highly evolved communicators and planners, they also have secret defence mechanisms and a lot to teach us about the power of community and generosity. We hope to keep you posted about our learning to come and are looking forward to being able to introduce ourselves to more of our tree type relations very soon.