Recently I was doing a bit of research for a blog I was writing, about the present farce we are experiencing called coronavirus. It occurred to me that Covid-19, and many previous examples of similar attacks on human beings by viruses and bacteria, appeared to amount to a cyclical event. From what I discovered these epidemics and pandemics happened largely and roughly between 100 and 200 years apart. It’s as if dear old Mother Earth has a clear-out, reducing the human race — so to speak — to make room for future regrowth!
Once the idea had entered my tired old brain, I started to notice many other instances of this repeating action. They are going on all the time and have been since the beginning of time. Some are the simplest and most frequent events, such as the rising and setting of the sun or the 28-day cycle of the moon and the changing of the seasons.
On a grand scale, scientists know that our sun also goes through an 11-year cycle during which it has several different but repeating moods, from placid to angry! Not noticeable effects; to we ordinary people, the sun is just a hot, white ball, but to the clever people with their specialised equipment, the sun is never ‘just a hot ball’, it is in full action all the time, providing among other things, the one source of energy that makes it possible for every one of us to exist.
Even grander, there’s global warming, which many experts tell us is simply a repeat of an effect that has been going on for millions of years. It’s all to do with the earth wobbling slightly in its orbit round the sun, getting gradually closer, then further away from it. With the result that we go through a series of ice ages, followed by warm ages every few thousand years. Some scientists say they have recorded at least five of these events, with the evidence found in deep ice drilling in Antarctica, giving an actual image of everything climate-wise that has gone on for millions of years!
Most of the comets passing close to our sun do so on a cyclical basis too! One of the most famous is Halley’s Comet, which visits us once every 76 years, the last time in 1986. (If you didn’t see it then, you have a long way to go before you can see the next visit in 2062!) We have many other comets coming by, some every couple of years and one, Hyakutake, that won’t be seen in our skies again for (believe it or not!) 70,000 years! Though how astronomers can work that out I have no idea.
Dragging ourselves down to earth again, even we ordinary people like virtually everything to be in cyclical form, from our football and cricket seasons, our religious festivals, our fashions in clothing and many other things. A couple of the best known clichés tend to bear this idea out — the one that goes, “There is nothing new under the sun”! and, “What goes around, comes around”!
We, and our home planet, do like things to be tidy, don’t we!
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