Starry Skies Fall 2017 Applegater Newspaper Article reprinted here for your enjoyment.
I had an interesting insight this morning in the shower. Rubbing away at my eyebrows with the washcloth, I remembered there is one particular creature that lives in human eyebrows, called a follicle mite. I thought, what are they doing now? Probably holding on for dear life as I scrub away at their home! And what do they do at night when I’m sleeping and they’re free to walk about easily? It suddenly occurred to me: I am a landscape! I am home to that follicle mite. And the follicle mites aren’t alone—there are more creatures on the surface of our skin than skin cells themselves! And in our gut and throughout our bodies we host other minute creatures, a myriad of life forms. Most of them are doing wonderful things, like digesting our food for us. We are at one with them. As we walk through our own earthly landscape, they all come along with us, walking around in and on us! And frankly, we humans also walk around like little mites on this planet, doing some good things and some not-so-good things. Fundamentally, we are all simultaneously creatures and landscapes.
We’re all neighbors and fellow creatures: gigantic, large, small or infinitesimal…it just depends on your perspective. I’ve seen one of those electron microscope photos of the small creatures living on our skin; it’s hard to believe, but they have even tinier creatures crawling on them!
Perhaps we could look at our solar system—and maybe the whole cosmos—in a similar way. This insight made my morning, and I pass it on to you to think about.