Wonders Hidden From Sight

There are many things that can cause us to gasp in wonder: the beauty of a mountainside meadow in full bloom with wildflowers, the innocence in a child’s eyes who thinks they just heard Santa’s reindeer on the roof, the way a puppy lies down next to his child master for sleep, the selflessness of a mother’s love.  We see those things and our breath seems to be sucked right out of us.

There are some things which we can’t readily see until they are shown to us.  For example, the beauty of a butterfly hidden from our sight inside its cocoon, the flower before it blooms, the beauty of life in a coral reef that we can’t see until someone shows it to us, the glory of deep-space objects that until Hubble were hidden from our eyesight.  Wonders all…and magnificent.

Well, don’t get your hopes up because today’s photo isn’t all that magnificent or beautiful, but it is still a wonder.  It’s a photo of a section of a cable like that which holds up the Golden Gate bridge over the northwestern end of San Francisco bay. So you understand what you’re looking at, inside the round, reddish-orange outside metal that makes up the “cable”, you may be able to distinguish lots of tiny, round looking things.  Those are the 27,572 cables inside the metal sleeve that we think of as a “cable”.  Double click on the picture to see it more closely and you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about.  It’s  amazing.  Each of them is smaller around than your little finger, yet they hold up the entire bridge and all the traffic on it!

I took this on Thursday last, and thought it was a wonder of engineering – an amazing accomplishment.  You can read the statistics for yourself.  I hope when you do, that the wonder of it captures your imagination just a little bit.  And maybe if it does, we’ll be more open to seeing wonder all around us in the natural world and man-made one!

A section of a Golden Gate bridge cable...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt won an unprecedented fourth term in office by defeating (in an overnight upset) Thomas Dewey.  Unfortunately, he would die only 53 days into his term.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: nano-technology has created a guitar that is smaller than a human blood cell.  It still has 6 strummable strings and is only 10 micrometers long!


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