The storm clouds covered Southern Britain today. Dark, brooding clouds heavy with rain and pent up electrical charge, filled all horizons. I was driving back from our family holiday, looking forward to getting off the M4 and putting my feet up.
“It’s the moon Daddy,” my 3 year old declared from the back of the car.
She was right of course, she usually is and there, framed in a small patch of blue amongst the late summer turmoil, was Earth’s companion; our furthest frontier, the marker of our furthest leap. The moon reminding me that above the veil of clouds and the chaos of the motorway the universe sits unaffected.
And Neil Armstrong was dead.
I didn’t know this until I got home and the news stung like hard summer rain. I have never met Armstrong and in many ways know little about him, such was his modest way and desire for a normal life. But like the oft hidden moon he was the first to touch, he was a certainty I grew up with- I lived in a world where a group of great explorers lived that had been to another world; had felt the moondust.
But my daughter will likely not. She decided recently that she would like to be an astronaut, who knows whether that will come to pass, but today the greatest space farer, one of humankinds greatest explorers and an inspiration to millions passed away and I fear we will not see his like again.
Neil Armstrong. 1930-2012. Via the Moon.