The Inner Light


A number of people journey through their days of life on this living orb without touching the spirit of the planet.  In the mad haste of getting from point A to point Z many points are lost—points of beauty, refreshing rain showers, a graceful butterfly, a river in moonlight, the night sky beaming with infinite beauty, the face of a person, the voice of one, the music of life which dances about us, snowflakes …

In the Star Trek :The Next Generation’s episode The Inner Light, Captain Jean-Luc Picard experiences a lifetime within twenty-five minutes of real time.  A dying planet sends out a space probe.  Instead of artifacts to tell of their vanished civilization, they send a box with a flute.

Picard becomes the first contact with this long forgotten planet.  What better way to tell the story of their planet, then for someone to live the life of one of the forgottens.  Picard falls in love, marries, has children, become an integral part of society, suffering the lost of friends, eventually the lost of his beloved wife, experiences the solitary journey, the joys of a grandfather, and the moment of his own death is told by his wife who is as young as the first day that he meet her—“the rest of us have been gone a 1000 years.  If you remember what we were and how we lived and then we will have found life again. And we live in you. Tell them of us, my darling.”

1000 years is epoch from the human point of view.  However, on the shores of eternity it’s a mere drop of solar rain on the rings of Saturn.

Oh, life is so precious on this planet.  Why don’t we value it, cherish it, share it, and protect it during our sojourn on this place which we call home?

A 1000 years from now will someone remember what we were and how we lived?  Will they know of our struggles, joys, sorrows, triumphants and failures? If they know our stories, will we live again by their thoughts and lips?  Will we live in them? 

Ponderings on this day in November 2010.

G. D. Williams       © 2010