As I’m sitting here in the back of my van at Trigg Beach, gazing out over the sea, my eyes settle on the moon. The moon, that big floating rock in the vast blackness, is held at a relatively constant distance from Earth by gravity. It influences our ocean’s tides and has been the subject of many myths and stories. Perhaps it affects us in other, less-provable ways, but who am I to say those are untrue just because they can’t be proven?

With the moon in the west and the sun rising in the east, I realise the moon is lit by the rising sun. The direction and angle of the sunrise cause some of the sun’s light to be blocked by Earth, so only about four-fifths of the Earth-facing part of the moon is visible.

Fascinating, isn’t it? Just for a moment, imagine standing on the surface of the moon, looking at this dynamic trio from an entirely different perspective.

The moon and the sun are so crucial for life here on Earth. To have the universe as it is, with our most immediate space neighbours in their specific roles that have nurtured life as we know it, is simply mind-bending.

Whether you believe in an ultimate creator or think that life is a fluke of time, elements, and temperature (which is where my thoughts tend to lean), there’s still a huge appreciation to be had for the fact we are here, now. For all we know, we might well be the only, the first, and last seemingly “intelligent” species in all of time and space. Just let that sink in for a moment.

While I certainly believe it’s important to preserve the human species and other life forms we value, we should also be mindful of where we consistently focus our attention each day. Regular thoughts of doom and gloom can divert our gaze away from the good, the beautiful, the miraculous.

We live relatively short lives, and we should fill them with as much joy, appreciation, and breathtaking experiences as possible. If there is nothing else for which you can be grateful, be grateful for life itself, and the fact that you exist when it could have been just as easy for you not to.