Middle School Play
Planets: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Blast Off.
Narrator: In 1960s a group of astronauts in a spacecraft named Apollo lifted off from the surface of earth. They ascended through our atmosphere and out into the dark void of space. As they did they were able to look back at our home planet from a new perspective. They saw the earth in a way that nobody ever had before and they were profoundly affected by this experience. This new image of our planet from space has changed the way he think of our world and our selves.
Command: Earth to Apollo. What is happening up there?
Astronaut 1: There is a great silence, unlike any I have ever encountered, so vast and deep that I can hear my own body: my heart beating, my blood pulsing, even the rustle of my muscles moving.
Astronaut 2: There are more stars in the sky than I had expected. The sky is deep black, yet at the same time bright with sunlight. The Earth is small, light blue, and so alone.
Astronaut 3: The Earth is absolutely round. I did not know what the word “round” meant until now looking at the earth from up here. It reminds me of a Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness.
Astronaut 4: We are traveling further and further away and the earth is getting smaller and smaller. It is the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine, a beautiful, warm, living marble, so fragile, so delicate.
Astronaut 5: I can see a large river meandering slowly along for miles, passing from one country to another. I see huge forests and deserts crossing borders. I see an ocean that touchs the shores of separate continents. Two words come to mind: commonality and interdependence. We are one world.
Astronaut 1: It makes me think of the millions and millions of people who have ever lived, live, and will live on Earth. What is the purpose of our existence?
Narrator: You are part of Earth’s own self-discovery.
Astronaut 2: What do you mean?
Narrator: Allow me to tell you a parable, an imaginary story that illustrates the Earth’s self-discovery.
Astronaut 3: Tell us.
Narrator: Once upon a time, the young Earth felt restless.
Earth: Who am I? Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life?
Earth: Moon, Can you tell me who I am?
Narrator: The Moon's gentle light fell upon the Earth, but there was no one who could see how beautiful it was.
Moon: Dear Friend, I am younger than you. I do not know why we are here, spinning around this vast darkness of space.
Earth: Sun, Can you tell me who I am and what my purpose is?
Narrator: The Sun's warm golden rays fell upon the Earth, but there was no one who could see how beautiful it was.
Sun: Dear Friend even though I am older than you. I do not know why we are here, spinning around this vast darkness of space.
Earth: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto! Can you tell me who I am and what my purpose is!
Planets: We do not know why we are here, spinning around this vast darkness of space.
Narrator: Earth had asked all the planets in the solar system and nobody knew her purpose. And then Earth had the most wondrous idea!
Earth: Instead of looking for answers outside, I will look within. Oceans, Help me to know myself! What can you tell me about who I am and what my purpose is?"
Narrator: The Oceans began teeming with life. For the first time, there were creatures who could see how beautiful Earth was. Crabs, snails, squid, and fish all peered through the ocean waters at the beauty of Earth.
Planets: Earth! Do you see how beautiful you are?
Earth: Perhaps there is more to me.
Narrator: And as time passed the creatures evolved and began exploring the land. Earth saw herself through the eyes of many new animals: turtles and lizards, birds and mammals— so many pairs of eyes, so many things to look at, so much to admire.
Earth: This could take a while.
Earth: I know my purpose. I know why I am here. I am here to learn about myself. I am meant to discover all of my own beauty. This will take forever. I will never be finished!
Narrator: And then Earth was quiet for a time, thinking about this awesome responsibility. The other planets did not do this. Nor the young moon. Nor the old sun. It was her special purpose to spend all of her days learning about herself. There was no need to hurry: there was all the time in the Universe.