"Something had to be done; it was hovering over a hundred degrees fahrenheit in New York. The natural inclination is to find a cool place: lying on a blanket in the shade of a tree, finding a seat in the self-service ice coolers outside grocery stores, or setting up shop in those secret stock rooms that are only seen through the slatted gaps between the rows of soda bottles and beer cans in gas stations. It was a fight for life, so it’s wise to forge meaningful alliances. The smart ones find company in the things we dare not destroy from heat, the things we cherish and protect from the elements. So you go to museums to look at paintings worth millions while imagining margaritas and sno-cones, or stand in the shade of a giant Olmec head and think about how the rock is cool, so maybe you won’t be judged by the other museum goers if you press your face up against the monstrous stone cheek. I found myself in the Natural History Museum looking at their dinosaur bones and wondering about how they dealt with the heat of their fiery extinction. I hadn’t been to the museum since I was 7 or 8, and in the 20 years since, my feelings about it hadn’t changed very much. The museum was still a place for the long wonder, to marvel at the enormity of life, the length of time, the shortness and insignificance of our worries. I felt the pang of a truth I had not felt since my last visit: I am a speck. When one realizes how long they have been alive, they also realize how long they have not been so. Time is long and the rocks and bones tell us so, but the joy and exuberance of the kids I saw at the exhibit reminded me of my own when I was their age; it wasn’t so long ago that I was the same kid, mad-dashing between skeletons, excited about the idea of enormous, mysterious lizards crawling the landscape of the Cretaceous period. And there I saw my former self, witnessing the same marvel in the ones who come after me about the same so long ago. I suppose it helped me to realize that no matter how long or short the time may be, it is always special to come back to a place and to realize that the wonder is still there."