Holidays, and days off are so necessary, yet, some of us barely get a chance to relax on days like today. I have a poem by Tecumseh, a Shawnee warrior I want to share with you. His name means “Shooting Star” it is said he was born during night when a meteor crossed the sky. Tecumseh gained a reputation a warrior early in life, although he did not gain stature among his people until he formed a large confederacy in hopes of establishing an American Indian nation in what is now Indiana. He was killed in 1813 fighting for this homeland. This time of year, there are so many small skirmishes won and lost. Treaties and agreements, made and broken. Here’s the poem written by a warrior for all your warriors reading this article:
So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in y our life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts a filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”
The work I am doing is a great gift. A gift I share often. I have been given so much over the years by the State of New Mexico, by New Mexico State University and by Las Cruces. This is a time of renewal. The choirs and musicians have worked and won us over again, and reminded us of how much beauty there is in our world. The birders are out, attempting to count the bounty in our skies. I see the desert and it is at rest now. Even the snakes are resting, good news for us trail runners. Yet I know soon enough I will challenge my environment once again. I believe there are great opportunities that await our State in the near future in the commercial space industry.
There are people working. The scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory receive data from the Mars Science Laboratory 24 hours a day. The Mars Science Lab is one of the miracles NASA brought to us this year, with its .001% of the federal budget. NASA is the world’s leading expert on planetary descent and landing systems. The NASA budget is under extreme pressure. Why go to space? As a species, some day, we will live and work off earth. What do we get right now? Some of the sense and avoid technologies developed in these descent systems are at work in your automobile today helping you from crashing into the mailbox – again. There are benefits to exploration and knowing the people who live to do this work is renewing for me. Most do not seek recognition for their work; the work and partnerships are reward enough.
At this time of year, I must mention the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft, launched in 1977. They are close to leaving the Solar System. These small probes have discovered a “magnetic highway”. It is right at the last layer of our Solar System. No one expected this layer, nor do they know how long the spacecraft will take to get through it. The boundary layer allows charged particles from inside the Solar System to travel through the layer, and particles outside the Solar System are able to travel inside the layer. Maybe we can see this magnetic highway as a way to let small things pass easily and they come and go through our lives. Stars are part of the legend this time of year.