Anyone interested in a holiday gift?  Perhaps you were ‘bad’–you’re reward is a lump of coal in your Xmas stocking–right? But what if that lump of carbon is transformed not only into a diamond, but an awareness of a miracle. The miracle of life itself.
    We hear of carbon in terms of global warming.  But lest we forget that we are ‘carbon-based life forms’……its existence, and our own are the stuff of miracles.  So forget about the Shroud of Turin, the burning bush, weeping statues……nature provides all the awe we could hope for.
    The carbon story begins at the beginning–but not exactly because after the Big Bang there was no carbon.  On the periodic table of elements, Carbon is C6.  It has six protons and neutrons in its nucleus. Only hydrogen and helium existed after the Big Bang.
    It took several generations of stars going ‘supernova’ and disintegrating before three helium atoms [H2] could fuse into one carbon atom.  After billions of years of stars being born and dying, our solar system, our star arose.  It contained the carbon from dying stars.  The sun, like ourselves, is truly star dust.
    With me so far?  Pretty good stuff, but the next phase of the miracle is well, even more miraculous.  So how does the carbon get into us?  Through the process that we all learned about in biology–photosynthesis.
    Now I believe we need a new name for photosynthesis, one less ‘scientific’ and more spiritual.  We need low lighting, New Age meditative music playing in order to be in the proper mood to absorb this truth.
    Primitive cyanobacteria ‘learned’ how to absorb photons of sunlight through the pigment chlorophyll and suck invisible particles of CO2 out of the atmosphere.  Oh, you say, is that it?  Well yes and more.
     Life contradicts the laws of physics, thermodynamics to be specific.  We should not exist because all processes and structures tend through the law of entropy to ‘breakdown’ into their lowest energy states.  Life confounds that theory–but it does so at a price–the requirement of ‘energy’.  Blue-green algae figured out how to do just that.
    This photonic energy powers nearly ALL life on this planet–our own included.  Animals cannot make energy.  We can only consume it. Plants produce it and more—They provide us with the carbon upon which every molecule in our body is based.  And they assemble themselves, one carbon atom at a time.  And further, what they expel, that toxic vapor that could ignite our planet in an instant, is what gives us life as well—oxygen. 
    So never, never pass a tree, a plant, a blade of grass, a weed…..without offering a prayer of thanksgiving.  Happy holidays and enjoy the gift of awareness.

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