We sit on this tiny spacecraft we call Earth, and are taking quite a ride.
Originally published on LinkedIn — March 22, 2021
Mom was cooking supper when daddy got home. She had heard him pull up in the driveway. He came in the back door, took off his boots, and walked into the kitchen. He kissed her on the cheek, and could tell it would be a bit before supper was ready. He walked into the living room, sat down in his recliner, kicked back, and turned on the TV. The last thing on daddy’s mind at that time was, as he sat there, he had lived 72 years, 8 months, and 10 days.
Mom called him about 10 minutes later. “Supper was ready.” He didn’t come. She called again, a little louder, thinking he had not heard her. He didn’t come. She walked into the living room, and said, “Supper is rea…”. She didn’t finish the last word. Daddy was dead. He had died instantly, without so much as a sound, from a massive heart attack.
As I marked my last birthday, declaring myself 3/4 of a century old, my mind wandered off in a number of directions. Memories flooded my mind from times gone by. Times of life, death, joy, sorrow, and grief. I thought of the ebbs and flows of my life, good times and bad. I pondered the march of the years and its cycles. Heck, I used to be a little boy, but time changed all that, and now I sat on the cabin porch, a man deep into the winter of my life, rockin’, and doin’ some thinkin’.
The men in my family often die instantly from a heart attack. It must be in the genes. I have already lived longer than most of them, and have thought for years this could be my fate as well. I really didn’t expect to live as long as I have.
When I “retired” I had plans to do some traveling. There are places the world over that I would like to see. Most of them are archeological sites of great antiquity. My plans were put on hold because of the virus. I won’t get started on what I think about that, but it did restrict my ability to travel as I would have wished. I have no idea how much longer I’ll live, but was feeling a mild sense of regret that I have not seen some of these places. Traveling is at the top of my bucket list. How much time did I have left? And then, did it really matter?
But, on the other hand, I have done some traveling. I have been on an incredible journey for over 75 years now. All of us have, but most have failed to even notice for the most part. We have sat back, as we traveled, and have not been looking out the window, as the most phenomenal sites imaginable passed before our eyes.
We are all space travelers. We sit on this tiny spacecraft we call Earth, and are taking quite a ride.
First, we are spinning about 1,000 miles an hour. We have divided this movement into 24 equal measures of time we call hours. This is how we mark one complete revolution of the earth’s spin cycle. We call 24 hours one day. We mark it by the position of the sun in the sky at its zenith – noon. In the course of a day, as the earth spins, we have a period of daylight, and darkness. On the day of the equinoxes the day and night are of equal time, 12 hours of each.
But we aren’t just spinning. We’re movin’, folks, and I mean really movin’. The Earth is going 18 miles per second, or about 67,000 miles per hour, and circling the Sun. That is about 1,608,000 miles a day, and 584 million miles to complete one revolution around the Sun – a year. We mark the completion of one orbit by the equinoxes – either the first day of spring, or the first day of fall, at the instant the Sun “crosses” the equator. Now, don’t y’all forget, we’re ridin’ on this thang, and see the wonders of the changing sky along the way.
But, I’m just getting started here. The Earth doesn’t sit up straight. It is tilted over, right now to about 23.4 degrees; this is what causes the seasons of the year as we move around the Sun. Spring, summer, fall and winter, and it’s rockin’ back and forth. It goes from 22.1 degrees to 24.5 degrees and completes this cycle in about 41,000 years.
We have considered 3 different ways the Earth is actually moving. It is spinning, moving around the Sun, and it is rocking. The spinning cycle is the most obvious, and I would say most everyone knows this. It is easy to observe. It is orbiting around the sun, and I suppose most people are aware of this. However, at the current state of our educational system I seriously doubt that the tilt of the Earth, and the rocking motion is common knowledge with folks on the street.
Moving on [pun intended] we have to consider that the Sun is also moving. The Sun is traveling through space at about 124 miles a second, or about 448,000 miles an hour. The Sun orbits our galaxy, the Milky Way, every 225 to 250 million years. Since the Earth is traveling along with it, this become an addition part of our trip, the Earth’s fourth movement.
I know some of you smart people out there, those who know more about this stuff than I do, are smiling, and want to mess up my hair. But, you have to admit what I’ve said is about right. But that is, probably, about to change.
When I had lived 71.6 years I marked that time in my life as significant. The stars had precessed one degree in the night sky in my lifetime. The sun rises at the very end of the constellation, Pisces, on the vernal equinox, in our day and time. We are living at the “Dawning of the Age of Aquarius”, as the song says. Over a period of about 24,000 years the Sun will complete its precessional cycle through each of the 12 constellations and will return to its present point in the sky.
Put another way, we all can see by observing the night sky, that the stars rise in the east, and move across the sky toward the west if we are watching them in our southern sky. But, ever so slightly, they are also moving “backwards” from west to east. It takes 71.6 years for them to move one degree from west to east. This is what causes the precession of the equinoxes. In is imperceptible in one lifetime, but over, say, 1,000 years you couldn’t fail to see it.
Up to this point there is general consensus. The Earth does spin, it does orbit the Sun, it is tilted on its axis, it does rock back and forth, and it does orbit the entire galaxy as part of the solar system of the Sun. That is four distinct ways the Earth is moving.
However, this is not true with the precession of the equinoxes. Not everyone agrees about what’s moving, what causes the equinoxes to precess.
The standard line, believed essentially by everybody who is supposed to know about such things, is that the Earth has another motion. It wobbles. If you picture the Earth as a spinning top, you get the idea. A spinning top will wobble. I’m not going into the weeds about how all this is supposed to happen, but this is a fair, very elementary, statement of the theory. But there are a number of problems with this. When I point them out to people who know about this stuff, they look at me like I’m crazy.
My first point is that the wobble theory would make everything outside the Earth precess. But it doesn’t. The fixed stars will precess, but so should everything within our solar system. But it doesn’t. The is no precession of anything within the solar system. In fact, not only don’t objects within the solar system precess, the actual seasons on the Earth would also change their times of the year, as would the dates of the equinoxes. But they don’t. The positions of the planets in their orbits would change. But they don’t.
The ancient peoples from all over the world were obsessed with the observation of the heavens. They were aware of the precession of the equinoxes, but had a totally different explanation of what caused it. They believed that the Sun was in a binary orbit with another star, and caused the Sun to move in a vast circle that took about 24,000 years to complete. Now, if true, we must realize that everything in the solar system, Earth included, would be moving with the Sun in this orbit, just as it does in the Sun’s orbit around the galaxy.. This would explain why there is no precession within the solar system. The entire solar system is moving with the Sun, and nothing changes except for our orientation to the fixed stars.
I make my stand with the wisdom of the ancients.
All right, I know what you lovers are thinking, “Charles, what in the bleep is your point with all this?” Well, I have done some travelin’ in my day, ridin’ on the Earth, aware of all of its movements. The views have been spectacular, and have enriched my soul, making me feel connected with the universe. We have lost touch with the natural world, and the night sky with all the wonders of both. I believe that moral, physical, mental and spiritual health and well being has been the price we have paid, and the evidence of this is within us, and all around us. What used to be common knowledge now seems profound, and the realm of only the “experts” who are so bound up by the other “experts” that taught them that nobody seems able to see the obvious.
Yes, there have been times in my life when I wanted to say, “Somebody stop this thang. I want off.” But, I chose life, and continued my awe inspiring journey. My day will come.
As the song says, “Some glad morning when this life is over, I’ll fly away.” It won’t be the end of my travels, but the beginning of my eternal journey, free from the restraints of this life. I’m sure there will be wonders to behold which, now, I can’t fathom.
And I’ll get to see my daddy.