Well Said, Clockguy. Paricularly "But, it seems that I have an even stronger thirst for knowing how and when and why we are where we are and what we have become today." and the whole last paragraph. Bravo!
One of my favorite quotes/saying/songs come to mind.
I think over again my small adventures.
Those small ones that seemed so big.
For all the vital things I had to get and reach.
And yet there is only one great thing,
The only thing,
To live to see the great day that dawns and the light that fills the world.
Old Inuit song
These captured moments feel like that square yard to me and being able to appreciate the details and the magnitude and complexity of that simple yard.