I look at these images of Pluto, full of awe and wonder. I get a little tickle in my chest, a quiver in my gut, that internal signal that something big is on the horizon. I remember when we first saw the images from the Rover on Mars, and my Great Uncle Paul, sitting at my Uncle Dave's house while we all had a family cookout, I think it was the 4th of July...one of those beautiful summer days when everyone wanted to be outside and in the pool, everyone except Uncle Paul. He sat firmly planted in front of the tv watching the live coverage of those first images being sent back to earth. He kept exclaiming, "By golly, this amazing!" And, "Hey, kids, you should be watching this!"
I heeded the requests of the eldest gentleman in our family, my grandfather's brother, and sat with him to watch, even though that cool pool was calling out to me.
I wasn't born yet when we landed on the moon, but I figured that must have been much the same feeling to those watching that landing, as this was to Uncle Paul. He had witnessed the moon landing, and from the sounds of it, hadn't imagined he'd ever witness anything as fantastic as that again for the remainder of his life.
I remember being a little bit amused by Uncle Paul's amazement and wonder. I was that young one who was more concerned about sneaking off from the party to go light one up with my cousin. I was that young one who, after leaving the family cookout, was headed straight to the bar to party the rest of the night away, never thinking a second thought about what it meant that we had landed a Rover on Mars and were now seeing photos of it for the very first time. I had drinks to drink and lines to snort, and friends wanting to go clubbing.
I wish my Uncle Paul was here today to watch the NASA channel with me, and to talk with about Pluto.
Uncle Paul, I wonder how amazed he'd be at this?