planetary death

i’ve decided. i don’t want to go back, ever. sometimes i get lost in the ease of nostalgia, its soothing cradle of memories and days that have been swallowed by time. but so far, despite occasional difficulties and hardships and periods of loneliness and confusion, things seem to…get better. i don’t really know that i’d trade today for a day in the sandbox at age 5. so many things fascinate me, now, that i’d never heard of when i was little, or even just a few years ago.

i spent nearly five hours reading about plate tectonics [think “continental drift-ish”] and the end of the world today. not in the form of some dramatic armageddon, rather simply the scientific prediction of how much longer the earth will be habitable, before the increasing glow of the sun will make life impossible here. it’s something like 500 million years. while enjoying some lebanese food with my sister today, i told her this, how much time life on earth had left [if we don’t destroy ourselves, first]. but she seemed rather disturbed: “why do you tell people things like that, katie? i don’t want to know when the world is going to end.” i was confused. “well you won’t be here,” i said. she replied that she didn’t care, she just didn’t want to think about it.

i can see why. the idea of all this going away is hard to digest; the knowledge that the beauty that surrounds us is finite is sad, for the lack of a better word. mountains will erode into hills or crumble into desert plains, the oceans will dry up, the cracked and rigid seafloor exposed, the air will become noxious and soupy…this is what the sun will do to the earth in time, and it can’t be stopped. finding beauty in a definite ending is not a common trait. i’m lucky to be alive now, while things are still intact, evidence of history is still visible. i can’t imagine this planet in 500 million years, it won’t be the same in any way. everything i know and love will have disappeared. and then, in 4 or 5 billion years, whatever is left of our little earth will likely be sucked right into the sun as it expands into a red giant, its long amber flames tempting our globe out of its orbit and into a warm, bright core. and then someday, our sun will die, too, and it will be as if none of us ever existed at all. i find this…amazing, even if sad, we’re fortunate to be a witness to anything at all.

with ephemeral love,

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