Life depends on light, depends on combining simpler particles into larger, less stable ones. We juggle these unstable particles in every one of our cells every day, and every day they fall apart.
We eat to get those particles inside, we breathe in order to break them down back to their more stable pieces, so that we can do the things we need to do.
We lose ourselves as carbon dioxide in the breath we exhale.
Every year the CO2 levels rise in these parts, as the plants pause over the winter. We could learn something from the plants.
I do not know many people well, and the number diminishes as my December comes. I saw a honeybee land on a dandelion today. I saw a grasshopper sitting in the sun. The days are short for both of them.
The days are short for us, too.
Our guidance department has a flyer that asks "If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?"
In December, it's the wrong question. We all eventually fail. I'd rather ask a child this: "If you truly understood that you were mortal, what would you do?"
Would that wise child take an AP course just to improve her transcript? Would that wise child sit in my class?
We cannot expect a child to have that kind of wisdom, and even if she had it, we have all kinds of social tools to get her to do our bidding anyway. We should, however, expect it from the adults.
If you truly believed you were mortal, that your students were mortal, that this H. sapiens species experiment will likely flame out just as every other species eventually has, what would you teach?
I'm a science teacher. I share what we know about the universe to children who did not exist less than two decades ago. This is all still new to them.
And it's still all new to me.
As the sun fades away to the south, the question becomes urgent. What matters?
Pics taken today.