Last week, while a couple of us were hiking in the mountains, I stopped along to watch some ants building and constructing. It reminded me of when I was a child. I was mesmerized by the industriousness of these little creatures, going this way and that, stopping to communicate with other ants, all busy all the time. Yes, I’ve read about these creatures. So tiny and yet every one knowing what to do from birth. Different jobs. All working together. Amazing.
Just the other evening, we were watching a show about the solar system. The main people were invested in finding life on other planets. They were considering sending probes to moons of Jupiter and Uranus that seem to have some characteristics that might indicate conditions that have life implications. Mars was certainly a consideration.
Within fossils, dna doesn’t stand much of a chance. But apparently, some characteristics can remain, even in very old fossils.
As we watched, we wondered at the factors that must go into such endeavors, including costs, but also all the research scientists here on Earth expend as they learn more and more. It just is all amazing. And yes, again, I’ve spent my share of time in years past reading about the most basics of life forms, conditions necessary for life, and just how complex the simplest of life forms are. For instance: a single cell. Amazing. All the parts with all the responsibilities, all working together, the dna (incredibly long and filled with directives) giving commands. Amazing.
Then, later, I wondered at the dna necessary to tell this one ant, a loner ant, out searching for the colony, who would later inform the colony and the rest would arrive should there be food or other needs. All working together. No school for them to attend. Just dna.
I’m thankful that after all the years of teaching I remain fascinated by what goes on in the world. Even a galaxy, planets in a swirl, planets going around their suns among all the other solar systems, infinite other worlds and galaxies. Like looking up at the sky, at night, realizing the stars we’re seeing might be somewhere else as that light might have taken thousands, even millions of years to arrive.
How a heart works. How the kidney functions. How so much more there is.
Whether you’re a homeschool parent, a tutor, a teacher, or just interested, we can all be fascinated by what is out there. We can all marvel at how amazing everything is. And I dare say, there will never come a day where we’ll know everything, but the marveling is the true adventure. And for those teaching, this can be shared and encouraged in the classroom. For what young people find interesting leads from doors to doors to what they do in life: as vocation or avocation.