When I was 16, I was lucky enough to take part in a month long trip to Peru. For most of that you are a mile above sea level, on or above the cloud line. At night it is beautiful.
Mentioning the constellation is always a rather clichéd way of opening a discussion on theism or lack of it but it is probably one of the best ways of doing so. Other places where one may experience the same feeling are atop a mountain, looking across a great cityscape or perhaps best still in the ever-enduring peace that comes when knelt alone under the raised arch of a beautifully crafted cathedral.
I often despair at some of the reasoning behind the existance of God. My favourite irritation is that 'The Evidence is all around us.'
To this I must requote (as have many before me) the famous Douglas Adams line, "Is not the garden beautiful enough without inventing fairies to live at the bottom of it."
For millenia people have looked in awe at the stars and wondered 'Why?'. That has always seemed a little odd to me. The question in my mind is not 'why are they there?', that takes far too much brainpower alltogether. Instead I am content to simply be awed.
There is beauty in civilisation, from what we have made of it. Staggering beauty. There is beauty in nature too. Elegance, chaos, awe. Everything.
Anybody who can look at these things, experience them fully and yet still be underwhelmed enough to wonder about the identity of their maker or whether the movements of these great forces will somehow be part of some divine plan or other seems to me to be somewhat cynical.
Some things from my trip.
A desert in the sky.
An old old town.
Orchids. One of the rarest plants on the planet.
I am not preaching. Nor do I think that I am particularly original. Nor do I think that my examples based entirely on my own experiences are particularly great (a simple glance at the pages of the National Geographic should prove otherwise), but what I do think is that there is too much in this world to narrow it down into the dusty pages of an ancient book.