Originally Published: May 6, 2003 6:10 p.m.
Take a moment and think about the neighborhood you grew up in.
Mine included a park, an elementary school, homes, apartment buildings, large elm trees, a profusion of lilac bushes and great places to hide. It was filled with people I knew, spoke to, and received instruction from.
Than I got a bike for Christmas. My neighborhood boundaries doubled, at least. I met new folks, played with different kids, explored exciting streets. Later, I rode my bike more than a mile to high school, to a library, to the exciting Katz drugstore.
In a few more years, my parents let me drive our family car around my city. Such a thrill to expand my concept of neighborhood! I visited new parks, drove on beautiful boulevards, saw magnificent homes and dreamed of the kind of neighborhood I would like to live in when I became an adult.
I also traveled around nearby states playing tennis tournaments, all within 400 miles of my hometown, Kansas City. The Midwest became a comfortable neighborhood.
Soon, I went away to a college in Virginia. After four exciting years, I went to Korea, visited Japan, and in later years was fortunate to be able to travel to a number of other countries. My idea of neighborhood had irreversibly enlarged.
But nothing prepared me for the first pictures I saw from outer space. There was planet Earth in magnificent blues and greens adorned with swirling white clouds floating like a radiant bubble, suspended in a black void. How could I (or anyone else for that matter) not thrill at that extraordinary sight?
Before that picture, nothing had prepared me to understand how small our globe is and how fragile. We are hanging out there as some sort of miracle. A small neighborhood – our home – in an enormous black void.
And you and I are responsible for seeing that our bubble doesn't burst.
(Ron Barnes is a longtime Prescott resident and a semi-retired educator and businessman.)