Many years ago, I discovered the butterfly alphabet letters from their wings photographed by Kjell Sandved. Their fragile and delicate nature speaks an important message to us all especially during this time of year.
NASA Earth Observatory released this image December 24, 2014 showing the view toward the southeast. Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and the Euphrates River are central in the image. The International Space Station was directly over Turkey at the time. The image is part of a collection from the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Photographic details for this image are at this link.
The story accompanying this image says:
Many religions and cultures are celebrating festivals. The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah in 2014 stretched from December 16 to 24. Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25 and the feast of Epiphany on January 5. And in early 2015, Muslims will celebrate Mawlid an-Nabi, the birth of Muhammad, on January 3 (Sunni) and January 8 (Shia).
Missing from this picture are the countless borders between countries, the millions of people celebrating festival and holidays, and millions suffering because of conflict and terrible things people do to each other.
More than ever, we need to strive for peace and fair resolution of conflict. We need to treat the Earth and each other with respect and care. The urgency is real. Isaac Asimov in A Memoir said it this way:
The Earth faces environmental problems right now that threaten the imminent destruction of civilization and the end of the planet as a livable world. Humanity cannot afford to waste its financial and emotional resources on endless, meaningless quarrels between each group and all others. There must be a sense of globalism in which the world unites to solve the real problems that face all groups alike.
Can that be done? The question is equivalent to: Can humanity survive?
I wish you peace and goodwill… Jim