I love hiking in the desert (when it is below 90 degress…). I live in the north valley near several mountain preserve areas, so finding a nice trail is as easy as pulling over, or walking a block and stepping over a fence. Desert trails are mostly dusty and rocky though, and for all of the beauty of my surroundings, i catch myself looking down alot. Not that the trails around here are especially strenuous… Just that there’s lots of loose terrain, and a misstep–especially going downhill, and especially if you’ve got a dog or baby (or both) in tow, would be bad news. Also, i hate snakes. And while i’ve never encountered one on a hike around here (knock on stucco) I know they are watching me. Every little skitter and slither i hear in the wilderness around me becomes, in my wild imagination, something reptilian of Amazon proportions. So yeah, I look down.
Sometimes we get this way… we don’t know what’s next, we don’t know what’s coming at us from any given side, experience with a fall (or a predator) has made us hyper-sensitive to falling hazards… It’s sad, but it happens. No matter how many wonderful and lovely things are going on around and above us, we are compelled to look down. We miss alot of great scenery that way.
Have you heard the term “space trash” in news banter over the past few days? It sounds like a really great band name to me, or else the next big thing in social media. But no…space trash is what happens when our bravest and most innovative technology ages, and begins to crash down around our heads. NASA says that over the next day or two, pieces of an old satellite will be entering our atmosphere and falling to earth. No wait…plumetting to earth. That’s much more dramatic. They won’t be able to give much notice, and will only be able to narrow the landing area to a few thousand miles or so. But no biggie–your chances of being in the VERY wrong place at the wrong time are about one in 3200.
That actually means you’re more likely to be hit with space trash than you are to be struck by lightning. Or winning the lottery.
I guess that should be pretty sobering to me, but i just keep picturing the Coyote getting nailed by a whistling anvil.
The lesson for the day? LOOK UP! Watching the ground all the time does not protect you from every danger or unexpected mishap. I guess that is to say…if you’re going to get hit by space trash, you might as well enjoy the view in the meantime.