Monday, December 18, 2006

Illuminated by darkness

Bit of a profound way to describe a thought I had this morning at about half 7. It was very dark this morning, and as I sat munching my wheat bisks (none of that fancy branded cereal for me) I noticed just how incredibly dark it was outside.

And then the thought struck me: What if the sun doesn’t rise today? Of course, I know that I was being ridiculous, because the earth revolves on its own axis once every 24 hours, and day was going to follow night as surely as nauseous regret follows the snaffling of a dozen mince pies. (Not that I’ve done that… recently.)

But that half moment of fear made me realise that in pre-scientific times there was no sure way of knowing, which is why the Egyptians et al used to celebrate the sunrise every day (or at least I think they did – perhaps I ought to look historical trivia like that up). And how do I really ‘know’ that stuff about the Earth on its axis, other than that I’ve been told about it and apparently there’s this invisible, un-measureable, unquantifiable thing called gravity that would stop working if the world suddenly stopped spinning. So, the sun was going to come up because we hadn’t all been catapulted off into space while we slept – what a comforting thought!

The upshot of all this frenzied brain activity was me being a bit more grateful when the sky started to lighten than I usually am.

1 comment:

  1. When I eat cereal, I tend to read the back of the box. Oh to be like you... the great ponderer of life...