Write Again…A profound sense of peace

Published 2:25 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2022

There are times when you see something or read about something that touches you in a special way. We all experience these times, do we not?

Such was the case for me not too very long ago. The media was reporting on the death of former astronaut Scott Carpenter, one of NASA’s original seven astronauts and a former naval aviator. He was 88 years old.

Carpenter uttered a few words after John Glenn’s historic rocket lifted off enroute to becoming the first American to orbit Earth. He said, “Godspeed, John Glenn.” These words were heard and remembered not only in our country, but around the world.

I know where I was and what I was doing on that historic occasion. It was in February, and I was having my physical exam in a U.S. military hospital in Regensburg, Germany. This was standard procedure as one neared his time of discharge from active duty. Right in the exam room things came to a halt as we listened on AFN (Armed Forces Network) to the liftoff.

Then only three months later Scott Carpenter orbited Earth three times.

I followed that event this time as a civilian. All went well, except a “tiny miscue” threw Carpenter nearly 300 miles off course on his descent. (“Technical glitches.”)

Rescue crews located him more than 40 minutes after splashdown, but during that time there was fear that maybe they might not.

Now, here is the whole reason for writing this column. It’s about what Carpenter felt as he bobbed about in the Caribbean Sea, and what one journalist wrote.

He said he felt a “profound sense of peace as he drifted in his life raft, looking at the Caribbean Sea beneath him and the ocean of space above him and contemplating both the discordance and the symmetry between the two.”

The writer of the piece concluded his report (about Carpenter’s passing) with an eloquent observation. He wrote “May he find even greater peace on the vastly larger ocean on which he has just set sail. Godspeed.”

Godspeed, indeed, Scott Carpenter. APROPOS – “An inner peace is a balm to worries, even dangers. It is a divine gift.”

– Franciscus Note – Quoted material written by Jeffrey Kluger.