At night, when I was younger, I used to go out and lay on our swimming pools diving board and look up at the sky. I would spend hours looking at stars, finding and following satellites, and most of all, staring up at the moon.
I was sure I would go there someday. After all, the moon isn’t THAT far away. People had gone there before; it was only a matter of time until we went back. I imagined the monumental achievement being witnessed by those who went before us, and perhaps be joined by those earlier explorers. I suppose this makes me a romantic.
These past few days the moon has felt a little bit further away.
Why are we not there now?
Have we lost our way?
For the moment, perhaps. However, in our journeys to the moon, we set foot on a truly alien landscape in the spirit of exploration and hope. Those two qualities are inherent in human nature and can never be lost or extinguished. Wayward paths will not stop us. Obstacles will not overcome us. The loss of our quiet, humble, heroes will not cause us to falter; it will not cause us to fail.
A man set foot on the moon and with him, mankind. Be it soon or many years from now we will return to those places our predecessors once stood and when we return, their spirits will be waiting to welcome us there.
It’s been a long time since I stared up at the moon, but tonight, once it gets dark, I’m going to take my daughter out and show her the place where we once tread and will return. And before we go back inside I’ll look up and give a knowing wink.