I Wish I Had More Time
By Hobie Morris
I bet that you all have expressed a similar wish, especially at the tail end of a seemingly interminably long winter and a soggy, cool and mostly sunless spring.
Your life is on hold until the sun and warmth miraculously appear. Waiting to be done is a long list of things to catch up on. When that happens, your weather induced dormancy suddenly becomes frenetic.
Even “off-the-gridders” like my lovely wife, Lois, and me – living a comparatively simple life compared to yours – have many daily weather frustrations since much of our work is done outside. This spring, now an unpleasant distant memory, set a new bar for my anxiety and impatience level. We too wish for more workable time. Each morning, I anxiously glance up into the sky hoping for blue sky and bright sun.
But, for all of Central New York’s gloominess, there is an amazingly bright ray of hope. The only down side is you will have to be extremely patient to eventually enjoy it.
Did you know that our day time is actually getting longer? For hundreds of millions of years our days have been getting longer. If this simple country man could travel back in time, let’s say 1.4 billion years ago, a day on the earth would have been 18 hours. This is why.
Our moon was then a lot closer to Earth and by being so, changed this planet’s spin on its axis. Over the eons of time, the moon has been gradually moving away from Earth. By doing so, it has been gradually relaxing its grip on the Earth’s spin and thus making our days longer. In other words, the spinning Earth is slowing down like an ice skater holding out her arms to slow her revolving spin.
The moon is not leaving us very rapidly: only 3.82 cm each year. Over a century, only two milliseconds are added to Earth’s day. But, over a million years, the day time change is significant.
How do we here in 2019 know all this? Ancient rocks found in Northern China and a study called astrochronology give us clues. These 1.4 billion-year-old rocks document the history of our solar system, climate changes and the slowly lengthening day time on Earth. (Of course, the Earth’s spin, angle of axis, etc., are also affected by the sun and other planets as well as the moon.)
So, all you wonderful Central New Yorkers must be eternally patient. In time, we’ll have more time to fill. In the meanwhile, enjoy every second of time we are blessed to have. And remember, time waits for none of us, and like money, we’ll never have enough of it.
But these are only the musings of a retired and dim simple country man (and his much brighter wife) living among the birds and bees in the Brookfield hills.
Editor’s note: Hobie Morris is a Brookfield resident and simple country man.