Problems of Scale

Last night, while flying home at fairly low altitude, the Midwest rural landscape appeared as a beautiful painting, lit by the low-hanging sun. One particular moment, I looked down to see a solitary tree casting a long shadow across a curving dirt road and onto a plowed field. The colors, the shadow, the location of the tree, the exact composition of lines—altogether it was beautiful.

Though this spot couldn't be more than 80 miles from where I lived, in all likelihood I would finish my life without ever visiting this particular point on Earth. How would I ever find it? There was nothing particularly notable about the location. Once again, the profound huge-ness of our world had struck me.