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Perspective: Beginnings and living fossils

Stromatolites_in_Sharkbay
Paul Harrison
/
Wikimedia
Stromatolites growing in Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve, Shark Bay, Western Australia

In the beginning… What follows that intro is a cornucopia of scenarios with roots in religion, science, and imagination. A few days before the dawn of 2022 and a few weeks before the start of a new decade for me, beginnings are on my mind.

Remember Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth? It’s been a while since I watched the TV series, but what impressed me most were the similarities he drew between creation stories across time and cultures. Particularly I’m drawn to one common element, the divinity or wonder of nature.

Years ago I traveled to a place called Hamelin Pool in Western Australia to see stromatolites. They are some of the earliest forms of life on earth, living fossils. Seeing these dark, disc-like formations at the edge of the Indian Ocean was to experience the union of science and awe, and a very real sense of … in the beginning.

Getting back to present beginnings, 2022 or 5782 or however you may mark the passage of time as we revolve around the sun, there are probably associated rituals. One of my favorites is opening my doors at the stroke of midnight to farewell the old and welcome in the new. But we don’t have to wait for an exact point in time. A beginning happens every morning, every moment even. It’s never too late.

I’m Paula Garrett and that’s my perspective.