How Big is Big?

Parkes Radio Telescope

The road trip is underway.

We are travelling through the middle of NSW. The countryside is mostly flat, although not without trees to break up the horizon.

The weather has been wet and dreary. Occasionally, we have entered a storm, viewing it from a distance, the high clouds rising above the deep grey, the curtains of grey falling beneath.

The sky, the land, seems vast… the distances great.

We are singing along to Pink Floyd and Queen playing on the car stereo ­­– big music for a big land.

Our first stop for the day is the CSIRO Parkes Radio Observatory. The dish is huge; the technology fascinating. But it is the numbers that have me astounded. I listen to the sounds of pulsars billions of light years away. I learn about quasars that date almost back to the Big Bang. A huge timeline explains how what we see with the naked eye in the night sky compares with what is “seen” using the Parkes telescope, and comparing that with the blink of the eye that is the history of human life on the planet.

We watch several 3D movies. All are fascinating. The third, “Bigger than Big” puts our scale into perspective, the size of us, our planet, our moon, compared with massive stars in our own galaxy, The Milky Way, with the billions of other galaxies, with the incomprehensible scale of the Universe.

We are so tiny. And yet…

We are driving across a massive country, singing big music, sharing an experience and a love that will bind us as a family with a lifetime of memories.

I cannot fathom the eternity of years, or the distances measured in billions of light years. My tiny brain just does not compute!

But if there is so much love, laughter, song and story in one little family, in a single day’s travel, how much more could I possibly ask for? How big does this Universe need to be… really?

Today I am grateful.

Playing in the Gallery

Playing in the Gallery

Wagga Gallery. The 2014 National Photography Portrait Prize.

A vast open space with a hundred sets of eyes looking on. OK, some were lost in their own thoughts…

Two boys, one big, one small, decide to play a game – a game of hide and seek, of chase and sneak.

Delighted, I snap a few photos with my phone. They giggle and run off.

We are all told off – for running and taking photos in an exhibition.

For a moment we are annoyed by the rules and the bossy tone of the gallery superviser. But the feeling soon passes. We had fun and we have the photos to prove it!

Today I am grateful.

The Singing Alarm Clock

Singing Child

It is 7.15am and I am snuggled under the doona. The wind is blowing a gale outside and it is pouring with rain. “Another 15 minutes”, I think to myself. “Then I’ll be ready to start the day.” Who am I kidding?

I drift off again into a half snooze.

From the other end of the house I catch a few snippets of something through my doziness…

“We are the Champions, we are the Champions!”

Surely I am imagining things.

“No time for losers, for we are the Champions…”

No, it’s definitely singing!

“Of the world!”

The Munchkin has woken up singing – Queen of all things…

Normally it is he who does the calling out – “Good morning Mum!”, but today it is my turn. “Good morning, Munchkin”, I call. He takes a short break to acknowledge my greeting before bursting into another song – something from Abba this time.

My work here is done!

Today I am grateful.

Image: A very young Munchkin impersonating Elton John (after watching an episode of The Muppets). The drumstick microphone was his invention!

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Hi, I’m Cath

Cath Connell

Creating my amazing life one tiny moment at a time. Bringing the Hubby, a Munchkin and about a dozen tomato plants along for the ride.

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