Have you ever wondered how you got here? And what about all the stuff that surrounds you? Where did it come from? Unraveling this mystery can be the work of an entire lifetime.
I am constantly amazed by the simplest things and wonder how they came into existence. Take this six-cent air mail stamp for example.
It seems pretty insignificant at first glance, doesn’t it? Out of date certainly. But, in my opinion still very cool looking. It turns out that if it were in mint condition, it would be worth about $100. And here’s an interesting fact, if it were a slightly different plane and facing the opposite direction, it might be worth $500. Not bad appreciation for a six-cent investment from the 1940’s.
My curiosity appears to know no bounds because here’s the string of thoughts that followed from first seeing the stamp. Maybe your mind runs away with sometimes too.
I wondered who had the idea for this airplane, meant to transport large heavy cargos from place to place. It needed a creator, a special kind of dreamer to envision how it would be possible to fill it with tons of equipment and yet lift it into the air. Then, of course, it needed technicians, designers, production staff, marketers, those wanting to ship their products and those wanting to buy the products.
And it needed pilots and technicians and crew to fly it and airport staff to keep track of it and help it land in heavy cloud cover and ground crews to unload it.
And everyone involved in the process needed to be trained.
I wonder, how is it possible to train someone on something completely new. Something no one has ever done before. Where do the skills come from? And where does the belief begin that starts this whole process?
Mirroring this line of thought, I began wondering about the stamp itself. Someone had to authorize its design, then there was the artist who crafted it, those involved in production, distribution and staff at the post office who sold them. And all those who bought them.
And how did it get to me? To be a part of my collection of cancelled stamps? I wonder, did this stamp ever fly on board the very plane it pictured? Did it arrive at the Post Office, get purchased, then placed on the outside of a package and sent via air mail on the plane it represented? Wouldn’t that be an awesome string of events?
I like that thought because it seems rather poetic to me.
When I sit back and look at this stamp, I can’t help but ask, how did we all get here? What sort of acts of creation brought us into the world?
Okay, I know there is a simple biological explanation for this. I am a father and I understand about the birth process, but there is something infinitely more elaborate and exquisite going on behind the scenes. I know this every time I hold a baby in my arms. Their newness to this world helps me feel/see beyond the veil between here and heaven. I can look into their eyes and see they still remember what it was like there. They have no words to tell me, but their heartbeat against my chest while holding them, speaks to me.
They are all magnificent acts of creation.
I wonder what our lives would be like if we remembered this more often. If we appreciated each other and devoted time to honoring that we are all creative beings, bringing light and life into the world.
It’s funny to me what thoughts and ideas can evolve from one single six-cent air mail stamp. But then I think, every act of creation is a miracle and a cause for wonder.