The Package 02/23/01
Was this a dream of a dream born of the magic of the night sea. Or did it happen light years away at the speed of light from a new Earth past Demeter’s wistful eyes? Then again, does it really matter?
It was on my birthday when the package came. I was sitting at Gram’s house for an afternoon cup of coffee as we suddenly heard the driver at the front door. Given the fact we weren’t expecting anything, we were quite curious. I quickly gazed at the name on the box to see who it was for, and there was my name, much to my surprise. I looked for the name of the sender and I felt Gram stare at me with that familiar puzzled look on her face, for she saw it also, according to the label on the box, I sent the package to myself. Now that is a mystery in and of itself, but it’s the date the package is sent, that was surprising… it’s sent in the year 2025, 24 years in the future.
We opened the box carefully trying to hold back the urge to tear it apart. Once inside I took a quick notice of the content… license plates from all over the world, key chains and tea bags with a different quote on the back of each. Old postcards from various destinations; brochures for different events… music, plays, and dance.
As I studied the content, my hand grabbed a much smaller box, as I opened it, I became speechless as though I were seeing ghosts. It was a ring which I had lost years ago and now it sits in a box sent from the future, or so it seems. I quickly realized how absurd that sounded but it was the only thing I had to go on. My past self lost a ring and it’s sent back to me by my future self.
A few years ago I became familiar with Einstein’s ‘Theory of Relativity. One of the effects of this theory is ‘Time Dilation’ which allows for motion in space to alter the flow of time. In other words, the faster one gets to the speed of light, one ages slower, according to the speed and distance traveled.
One understanding of this theory is ripe for science fiction buffs… time travel. For example, you have two individuals, one stays on earth, the other enters a spaceship and quickly sets out into space at close to the speed of light. Time in the ship would slow down in relation to the higher velocity and distance the spaceship travels compared to time on earth, thus the traveler in the spaceship would age slower than the person on earth. In comparison, time in the spaceship amounts to a few weeks whereas the relative time on earth amounts to a few years. So the longer one stays in space reflects upon the age of those on earth. On the return from space, you might find your children are suddenly older than you depending on your speed and distance relative to the speed of light.
39- In The Land That Our Grandchildren Knew
For the soundtrack of this post, we go to the band, Queen. The song is 39, released in 1975 and named so because it’s the band’s 39th release. The song is written and sung by guitarist Brian May. Called a space age folk song, it uses ‘Time Delation’ in space travel as it’s the main theme. And Brian May should be impassioned for this subject as he is also an astrophysicist.