Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Winter Solstice

Wonder over the nature of the universe has always fired my imagination. Though the memories are faded, a fluid and magical imagination shaped my childhood days, from my imaginary horses to the effortless, endless shape shifting of clouds. Stars were the most immediate and most beautiful of all childhood mysteries. This fact will not come as a surprise to my family and friends, but I began speaking at six months of age. 'Stars' was one of my first words.

As I grew, the mystery of the universe deepened. What are all those stars? Do they truly stretch away into infinity? Attempting to imagine forever or infinity is a game played as a child and sometimes I still play it. I have never successfully imagined infinity. Our best theoretical scientists say there is a limit to the universe. Perhaps it is that they cannot imagine infinity either.

Sometimes, when I still my mind, answers to mysterious questions will arise, whispery and fleeting. It is nothing magical or strange. Everyone has the ability to tune into this source for at least a fleeting moment. Some people tune in for extended explorations, like Einstein and Mandlebrot. Most often, there is too much noise in our lives and in our minds to hear, or we mistrust what we are given. It is not voices, but a silver spark of insight that arises. If you are not still, you will miss it. Answers match a person's ability to understand. The spark that led to E=MC2 would never have hit a person like me, for instance.

One day I was contemplating the nature of the universe, allowing my imagination to extend the inquiry far out into the reaches between the stars when an answer was returned. The universe, at its most simple, is a time piece - a clock. In a flash, I understood time and space cannot exist separately, they are the opposite sides of the same coin. Like a magnet's poles cannot be separated, time and space cannot be split. If a magnet is cut in half, instead of one positive piece and one negative piece, another whole magnet is formed. If time was cut from space, another fully formed time/space continuum would arise.

Then, I began to consider the spin of galaxies as the powering of time, the orbits of planets as gears in a given sun's clock. And that led to the mystery of the earth's moon being the precise size, and the moon, earth and sun being spaced precisely to allow for solar and lunar eclipses. We take this phenomenon for granted, but the idea that such precision is mere chance is too staggering for even the most skeptical of thinkers. The moon is also the perfect size to stabilize the weather, protect the oceans, and slow our orbit around the sun.

While I was thinking along these lines, I realized that astrology, entirely dismissed by science as ridiculous, actually contains a kernel of truth. Traveling from the Great Void to inhabit a physical body on earth takes cosmic timing. It is true - the stars must favorably align.

There is power available at the summer and winter solstices, and magic in the four quarters of the year. The equinoxes evenly divide day and night. There is inherent balance between the longest day of the year opposite the longest night of the year. We have TIME to live, space to slow down for a lifetime under the benevolence of the sun. We examine things at our leisure and dream. We can imagine horses that speak and watch fables unfold in the theater of clouds. We can cast our astrological charts, and celebrate another birthday spinning here amidst the ticking gears of the Universe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What could be more poetic than spending endless time contemplating the infinity of space?

Draw the conclusion, and the conclusion will draw you...