The Elegant Universe


The Perseid meteor shower nudged me outside at three in the morning to gaze at the black sky dotted with twinkling constellations. I gasped each time I saw a star shoot across the sky. I wasn’t thinking about science; I was there for the beauty.

The celestial spectacle must have sprinkled down a little magic stardust to lift me far above my personal and planetary desires. My mind became empty, and I was transported. I floated above my Earth-bound concerns, completely aware of the vastness of the universe and the smallness of little ol’ me.

Only one thought pulsed through my being ~ the universe was created with such elegance.

The Elegant Universe is the title of the book that inspired the popular Nova series by the same name. It explores superstrings, hidden dimensions, and parallel worlds beyond my understanding. I am more poetess than physicist, but I do adore the title.

Elegance can be defined as that which is exceptionally beautiful and simple, modest and at the same time bright. There is elegance in a snowflake, a spider’s web, a mourning dove, the big dipper. Wikipedia adds, “Elegant things exhibit refined grace and suggest maturity.”

There’s no need to point out the lack of elegance littering on our planet. Politics, pop culture, and nightly news make that clear, but these are things over which I have little influence. I’m but a single star in the infinite cosmos.

Am I shining “like a diamond in the sky” as the nursery song encouraged?

We were created to be brilliant. We have a responsibility to add goodness to the universe. Imagine if each of us blazed through our days, leaving our own trail of light and love in an otherwise dark world.

Under the spell of the Perseid meteor shower, I stopped wishing and set an intention ~ to use my thoughts, words, actions, gifts, and blessings to add to the elegance of the universe. 

I will often fall short. As Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” §

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