If you are into learning about space exploration and what we are finding out there, you will know now that we have found a whole ton of planets that could support human life. These planets live in an orbit much like ours. Not too close to the sun star, and not too far away. This space is referred to as the “Goldilocks Zone.” There are planets in these zones – just in the right place, all over our known universe. Now that we know this, I fall asleep at night thinking about what and who may be out there. I wonder what their day is like. I wonder what the sunrise and sunset look like. Most of all though, I make up stories. I take those impossible things on our planet and create stories where everything is possible on at least one of these far off places. Who knows, maybe a planet of unicorns, or talking animals.
Now I doubt that even if life exists on these planets that they can do magic, or ride unicorns, or have a chat with a beaver – but why not enjoy the imagination part? Why not take some of my favorite stories throughout my life and imagine that on one of these planets they are quite real. One of my favorite authors and the creator of my favorite ‘other world’ is Piers Anthony and his Xanth series, or how about Hogwarts? Where is that school anyway? Is it on one of these planets? What about Narnia? Okay – so I just listed my three favorite imaginary places. What if they were real?
To get to these places, you have to fall through something, wander through an invisible barrier, or an old coat closet could be the way in. Who but a curious little kid would examine the back of a coat closet anyway? Sometimes you get in because of who you are. The world needs a hero and Harry Potter is just the hero they need. He is plucked from this dismal earth and taken somewhere else. Somewhere he is needed, and somewhere everyone believes in him. He’s a hero. Not to mention how very cool the idea of using magic is. So where are these characters going? Where do these magical amazing places exist? Maybe they have really been here all along just sitting in the Goldilocks Zone waiting for mere humans to stumble through an invisible door in the back of an old coat closet.
Science and mystery have gone hand in hand forever. Obviously some of our fantasy through science has become reality. We can now travel through space, but the writers of great space adventures had never even seen when we landed a man on the moon. In that creative mind imagination was the science, and then, we learned to make space exploration possible. No longer fiction; space exploration is very real. Remember watching the “Jetsons” and watching them cook a meal in seconds? With a robot maid and walking the dog on a treadmill? All that stuff is real now. It isn’t quite how we imagined it, but I’ve seen dogs on treadmills, cooked entire meals in a matter of minutes, and the robot maid still has some work to be done, but they are out there getting closer and closer to being able to have conversations with us while they vacuum our floors.
They say that Science Fiction is a look into the future. In all honesty I am not a huge science fiction person. The three I listed previously is about as much as I have read that I wish were real (Chronicles of Narnia, The Xanth Series, and Harry Potter). I have read others, but those are my favorites and even at 41 years old I can read them over and over again. I feel like I am part of those worlds, and especially with Xanth, I spent much of my youth begging for it to be a real place. I was convinced I would fit in better there than I did here. As soon as I got my Kindle the first series I purchased for it was the Xanth novels and I read them on my commute to work.
Taken at face value, these are meant to be children books. Teenagers mostly. Isn’t that when our minds are the most impressionable though? Isn’t that when we need to be reminded about out imaginations and how to tap into them? Now we have a whole universe to explore. Whole worlds to imagine, and one day make real. Maybe on one of these Goldilocks Planets we will be able to communicate telepathically, or animals will have the ability to speak in a language we understand. Why not? It rains diamonds in space, why can’t it also be possible to ignore gravity and fly without a device to help us?
So in my mind, I am going to imagine that Xanth is a real place (not in Florida) but on one of these Goldilocks planets. Narnia and Hogwarts too. They exist, there just have only been a few adventurers brave enough to write about them and make them real for the rest of us who haven’t figured out how to get there yet. While the universe expands beyond our comprehension, I will allow my imagination to expand with it. I think that is how it was meant to be. We create. That is one of humankind’s most precious talents. Out of nothing we have created real cities, planes, healthcare devices, prosthetic limbs; you name it. If we can imagine it, we can make it real.
So what do you think we will find on these habitable planets? Do you think there will already be life there? Do you think the scientific properties will be different enough to allow us to fly unassisted? Let your imagination out to play for a little while and create a new world. The possibilities are endless.