There have been various attempts to try to help readers of ‘big history’ — the story of this planet we live on from its earliest swirling, molten moments through to this day and beyond — to articulate and elucidate the amount of time that has passed that has allowed Nature to weave its warp and weft of evolution to arrive at the point where its self-proclaimed ‘most intelligent species’ was able to emerge and arguably begin (in its arrogant and egotistical stupidity) to screw things up. Few of these efforts have been as poetic as Arundhati Roy’s noted passage in her award-winning, debut novel ‘The God of Small Things’:
It seems to be a consensus of many philosophies that everything follows the passage of the seasons, each in its own time. All things in this space-time continuum are part of the cosmic fabric that shows wear and tear over time. Mother Earth, herself, is no different and appositely just as when she came into her adolescence she also began to exhibit her fecundity, so in her middle-age with her ‘late conception’ of this advanced species that has named itself Homo sapiens, the natural forces that had previously caused all of her progeny to come into being, brought forth the first and (hopefully) only offspring with the potential to commit matricide…. and hence also destroy itself!
The planet is predicted to survive for another four billion years or so, which would appropriately seem to make the Earth Mother about 80 to 90 years by the time she is to pass back to cosmic dust. She may well, before that time, suffer that fate that no ‘parent’ should and in due course bear witness to the passing of all her children… unless at least one manages to demonstrate enough care for The Mother to allow itself to reach the point that it might fly the nest and, perhaps, ultimately, find far flung climes whereupon it might yet thrive and come into its full potential of being a species that not only acquires much knowledge but also learns how to exercise that knowledge with sufficient wisdom!
“The whole of human civilization as we know it…began only 2 hours ago” …one wonders if it can last another two hours and then, perhaps, continue to survive beyond its infancy?