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December 21, 2012: What if….?

Posted by Joanne Martin
Joanne Martin
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on Tuesday, 01 May 2012
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Where will you be on December 21, 2012? How will you spend the day, and with whom? You might say: December 21st!? Why, who knows!? That’s a long way off. Why ask? What is the significance of that date?  

Well, it’s winter solstice, for one thing. But it is not your regular annual winter solstice. Scientists and modern computers have been able to confirm what Mayan, Hopi and Hindu elders had predicted, that on that on December 21, 2012, Earth and our entire solar system will move into an astronomical configuration so rare, that the last humans to experience such a phenomenon lived in the year 3114 B.C. That’s 1800 years before Moses!

What does it mean? Depending on whom you listen to, it will be either the end of the world, or the end of a World Age. Which do you think it is?

Personally, I don’t share the view that this is a “Doomsday” scenario.   I do see this event as the end of a cycle. There is evidence that our ancestors have endured four such cycles, possibly five, which have included changes in global magnetic fields and climate, diminished resources, and the rising sea levels that come with the end of time. Our ancestors lived to tell the story.   And that is what interests me. How will we tell the story of our time?

Just imagine. What would we know of the life of pioneers who settled this continent, if it were not for the journals they left behind? That was mere decades ago. How much more important is it, if we are truly approching the end of a world age, for us to tell our descendants about our time? What would you want them to know?

In her book Storycatcher, Christina Baldwin describes how, in October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, she feared it was the end of the world.   Even at age sixteen, she felt the link between story and history. Accordingly, she felt an urgent need at that time, to bury a time capsule, to tell future generations something about the time in which she had lived:

I had found this file box in our basement, full of my parents’ old tax records. Considering that death might come before taxes came again, I stashed their papers and replaced them with my own contents: a recent issue of Life magazine, photos of myself and my family, a map, a copy of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, my own diary, a small Bible, and a brief, dramatic note. “Dear future, if there is one, this is who I was before the Bomb. This is what life looked like. Here are the faces of those I loved. Here is the girl who inspired me to write. Here is the basis for a religion we did not follow. Remember me.

What book(s) and magazine(s) would you put in your time capsule? What photos? Who would you like the future to know was your source of inspiration? Why? What texts would you offer the future, as evidence of the beliefs and values of our time? What would you write in a letter to the future? December 21st will be here before we know it. Why not write that letter? And when you have written and reflected upon it, will it change the way you live today and over the next few months? I know that I feel much more aware!

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