While walking to work today, I listened to a Radiolab short that came out right at the end of last year, “The Times They Are a-Changin’.”
Something I learned: our years used to be about 40 days longer than they currently are. Basically, after the earth was created, it spun at a much faster rate. And then the moon came along. That resulted in this celestial dance of gravity, slowing down the earth and, eventually, creating the 365-day-long year we are now familiar with.
You can take whatever meaning you want out of that.
Further, because of the earth’s slower spin, the days have gotten incrementally longer. According to the podcast, today is 54-billionths of a second longer than yesterday. Today is the shortest day of your life.
That in turn made me think of this book that I read last year, The Age of Miracles. The basic premise of the novel, which is told from an adolescent girl’s perspective, is that the earth’s days are getting longer at a faster and faster rate, transforming how the world functions. The juxtaposition of this with the main character’s coming of age is sheer brilliance. I highly recommend (and can lend) the book to anyone.
Both the podcast and the book have the same takeaway: nothing, not even the length of a day, not even time, is constant.
Everything changes. Or, as my fortune cookie told me the other day, all things have an end.