And then I gazed upon the clouds, and i noticed they looked similar to NASA's photo of the Large Magellanic Cloud.
From Flickr, this is the closest photo that I could find to the clouds I saw on that windy day. Photo Credit: High Cirrus Clouds by jackatlargs
The Large Magellanic Cloud. Photo Credit: NASA
Although they have some differences, such as color and hues - white clouds against a perfectly blue sky, whereas LMC are rendered in black background. They also differ in scale - individual water vapor or ice crystals that make up clouds correspond to individual stars - yet their "cloud" formation is very similar.
The provision to "see" a bigger scale of things from a smaller subset reminds me of the fractal or self-similar property of the universe.
And then I had an amazing thought: What if our whole universe is just another "sub-particle" of another universe? Certainly others have thought of it, but now that the Large Hadron Collider is set to operate in a few days (May 2008), its almost like we're going to spew out billions and gazillions of worlds using a man-made contraption. Although these elementary particles (and mini-blackholes) that LHC will produce will decay almost instantaneously (from our perspective), it would still be an eternity relative to the particles for they travel at the speed of light. Remember, photons experience no "time".
What an overwhelming thought if each elementary particle has a universe within it, as what William Blake expresses in that poetic line "...world in a grain of sand". Then in the grand scheme of things, sentient life that emerges in any world - in any universe - would never fail to ask, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" And on a personal note, wonder "Why am I here?"
And as I jogged onwards, I uttered, "..to see the world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour..."