“That’s one small step.”
Just four short words. Followed by a few more. And we recognize them instantly.
Today is the 50th anniversary of one of the most notable achievements in human history: landing a man on the moon.
It’s remarkable. Transcendent. Historic.
I remember the day. I was nine years old.
Mom herded us kids into the living room to the old black and white stereo/console. “This is an historic event!” she exclaimed. “No one has ever done this before!”
“Done what?” I asked, not quite sure what all the hubbub was about.
“Neil Armstrong is about to walk on the moon!” Mom crowed, brown eyes flashing.
I had no idea who “Neil Armstrong” was.
But everything came to a standstill. I’ll never forget those grainy images from the moon. Armstrong’s iconic comments. Walter Cronkite whipping off his glasses and kind of shaking his head in awe, astonishment, and pride. My siblings and I watched, mouths agape, not fully comprehending the enormity of the moment. That took a few years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNE7Il3fs9M
What American astronauts and their team achieved on July 20, 1969, was, to put it mildly, an epic achievement. It set the gold standard of what good ‘ole American ingenuity, stick-to-it-iveness and know-how can accomplish.
It’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the fact that the Apollo 11 crew of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were part of a bigger team. Like the entire crew at Mission Control in Houston. Thousands of additional employees and support personnel. Naval personnel who retrieved the space capsule after splashdown, etc.
All eyes were on the same ‘brass ring’: successfully landing a man on the moon. And bringing him home.
We did it. Beginning with a single small step.
You may not be headed to Tranquility Base. Or Fra Mauro. But what “small step” can you take today toward your ‘brass ring’? Maybe it’s:
- Finding a new trail
- Exploring a new park, beach, mountain, canyon, or desert
- Losing weight
- Getting more exercise
- Eating healthier
- Spending more time with family
- Learning a new skill or hobby
- Reaching out to a lonely neighbor
- Start writing a book
- Finish writing a book
- Saying “I’m sorry”
- Trying a new recipe, author, composer, or hair style
- Planning for retirement
- Offering or receiving forgiveness
- Taking the first step to mend a broken relationship
A big goal for me this summer is exceeding last year’s high water mark related to our library’s annual Summer Reading Program. I read 156 books last summer. I just finished book #113.
I’m on target to meet my goal. But I may need to hit the after-burners. One book – one page – one paragraph, sentence and small step – at a time.
What’s today’s “small step” for you?
Image credit – Moon Landing. NASA. Public Domain. This post also appears on my sister site, Hiker Babe.