I am always inspired by the monumental, and not-so-monumental, works of human ingenuity. Whenever I see a bridge, or a mountain road, or a tall building, it reminds me of how people, down through the ages, have altered their environment by building things to make their lives easier, or to commemorate occasions or people. Structures built by people have survived over thousands of years, like the Pyramids of Egypt, or the Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem.
When I was in Jerusalem and visited the Wall, I was able to take a picture of my own hand on the Wall, connecting myself for a short time to the history of my people, the Jews. Just think, that cut stone has remained in its place for over 2,000 years.
The pipe organ below is another sublime work of human ingenuity. The instrument took over two years to build, in my state of Washington, before being installed in the new Christ Chapel at Hillsdale College. The workings of a pipe organ have not materially changed in hundreds of years; this one also has some new electronic capabilities that Johann Sebastian Bach would marvel at. But the principles remain the same, and the sound cannot be surpassed.
The organist can play the three keyboards with both hands and both feet, all at once-see the pedals have both black and white “keys”! A true inspiration, for a string-player who is lucky to be able to play with just the two hands.
I will swallow a bit of pride here, and admire the designers and builders of these huge wind-turbines, on rolling hills of Eastern Washington. They look pretty simple, but the mechanism is incredible complex, and they are just huge. On our trip to South Dakota, we saw at least ten flatbed trucks carrying turbine blades, and they are longer than the longest-available trailer-at least fifty feet long. The majority of these turbines were working, turning slowly in the near-constant wind, supplying power to the homes, farms, and towns nearby.
I expect everyone knows what this is. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, standing for about 100 years now. A true inspiration, and indication of the vast powers of the Human Mind and Body. And then, actually not far away…
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. This bridge has a curve to it that must have been an engineering feat to design and build. And beautiful, too.
Speaking of beautiful, here’s something a little closer to home, and to my heart. Hubby is an aeronautical engineer, and he worked on this aircraft from the very beginning. And as part of my job, I purchased circuit-card assemblies for the flight-deck of this plane. So a little of both of us is in each one built. This picture was taken on the “rollout” day in July of 2007, when it was formally presented to the world. Personally, I think this is one of the most awe-inspiring airplanes ever designed and built by any maker.
One more thing. The building you see is another marvel, the largest single building in the world, manufacturing airplanes since the 1960s.
Truly, the capabilities of humanity are always expanding, and always inspiring.