Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It Began a Mystery


~ Diane Ackerman
A Natural History of the Senses

Of Note: It has been recently discovered that the Persian Gulf may be holding secrets. Underneath that vast body of water lays a once-fertile landmass the size of Great Britain that was flooded only 8,000 years ago. Archeologists believe that the gulf may contain some of the earliest human settlements outside of Africa dating back 75,000 to 100,000 years. Even more interesting, colonies excavated along the shorelines have surprised the scientists in their sophistication: "These settlements boast well-built, permanent stone houses, long distance trade networks, elaborately decorated pottery, domesticated animals and even evidence for one of the oldest boats in the world." To settle the case, archeologists want to find a human fossil in South Arabia and excavate a submerged settlement. Before going to that expense, the researchers might consider reviewing the texts of ageless wisdom that speak of innumerable civilizations which have come and gone over millions of years. The remains of these are buried so deep that they will never be found. Archeologists now only scratch the surface of the Earth in their exploratory endeavors and find surviving fragments of this or that. Someday, the Earth will disgorge her true history to the surprised eyes of its inhabitants. Then archeologists and other scientists will begin to study the real meaning of ancient and how our current civilization fits into the true story of mankind.

Today's Weather Report: We awoke today to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. By 10 AM it warmed up to -11 degrees. Later in the day we were a balmy 7 degrees. It is sure to dip again into those frigid temps. Thankfully, the sun was shining so gave the illusion of warmth. Since May a friend and I have been working diligently on a legacy gift of his property and assets to a local college near the shores of Lake Superior. Today he signed the papers at that college in a ceremony attended by staff and trustees. The day was perfect for a drive and perfect for such a bequest. He is now free of encumbrances and is assured that his wishes will be carried out long after he dies. When the attending group clapped following the last signature, I felt that the deceased relatives did as well. I pictured them with broad smiles satisfied that this beautiful piece of property was being entrusted to the college for the common good of the students and larger community.