Earth / time scale

For a couple hundred million years, there was no liquid water. A few hundred million years after that, single celled life appeared. It took yet another few hundred million years for there to be any oxygen in the atmosphere. Fast forward another 3500 million years for something resembling modern humans to appear, a few hundred thousand years ago. Recorded history is only about 5000 years. So, if you live to 100 years old, you will have been around for 2% of recorded history but only 0.000002% as long as the earth.

It is a certain form of awe, to realise that one’s life so far will likely just be a small fragment of the whole. It isn’t intuitive aside from mathematically – it is a thought that only at a certain age becomes apparent and then drifts off to be forgotten again. Realising that the journey is so much longer, it both storms and calms the soul. The calm from the meditative “I still have time to become”, the storm from a similar “But I only have time to become”.