I remember once pontificating at university on "Science, God & Morality" or some such "interfaculty study" essay. I wrote about going into the hills and what it meant to me (see! I was blogging then! 35 years ago.)
I likened our existence on this little planet of ours to grains of salt scattered on the rumpled quilt of humanity. Totally insignificant. When I ventured out onto the hill, my minute little being was put sharply into contrast with the huge sweep and majesty of God's Great Plan and the sheer enormity and bulk - physical presence - of the mountain landscape about me. It brought perspective into my humdrum little life. We are but grains of salt, tossed about on the massive quilt of life.
Then, tonight, after spending an enlivening evening down the Axe & Compass with the Farmer, Chicken Dave and the Banker, I walked back up our lane to my cottage. It was a few degrees below, and the sky was pin-sharp. Even I recognised Orion and the Plough - I picked out the North Star. Bearded Git would have been proud of me.
I stood outside the cottage, with frost and ice gleaming about me, marvelling at the sheer majesty of the whole experience. That's when I realised that for all these years I had got it wrong.
For Thirty Five Years I have been marvelling at the Big Picture. For Thirty Five Years I have been marvelling at my insignificance. Perhaps if I had spent the last twenty one of those Thirty Five Years marvelling at the beauty, grace and sheer good fortune of my life and it's happiness and place in the Cosmos I wouldn't be in the straits I find myself now. I should have been marvelling at the intimate, the personal and the small, warm hand held in mine.
Think about it. I am now and it hurts so much to realise my mistake.