Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Our Shrinkng Earth

Einstein’s Theory of the Shrinking Earth

I want to take you back to my childhood environment – our backyard.  I have already talked to the impact global warming has had on the yard, but there is a more subtle, more heinous force at work – Global Shrinkage.

Einstein postulated that the earth was shrinking at an ever increasing rate until such time as the occupants ceased to grow.  Well, he might never have said that, but he should have as I have witnessed this horrid phenomenon in what used to be our huge backyard.  I was talking to brother o’ Phos when the matter first came to my attention.  It left me very shaken and wondering when the government would step in and give us obscene amounts of relief money so we could press on with our lives.  That’s what governments are for, to bail your ass out when things go terribly wrong, even if you built your house below sea level in hurricane country.

My brother and I used to play football in that backyard, fight epic battles against the Allies, and have home run derbies.  To win the home run derby, you had to knock a wiffle ball over the hedge, which seemed a country mile away. It was tough to do. My brother and his friends held bike races up and down the hills and mowing those hills reminded me of the Paul Bunyan story where his lumberjacks were logging on a hill and the down hill leg grew longer then the uphill leg.  

I went home to visit (I still consider the place home) and to my amazement the backyard had shrunk.  The hills weren’t the mountain slopes they seemed when we were pulling the sled back to the top for another run.  Homerun derbies would be way too easy because the neighbor’s yard had suddenly grown closer to ours and the hedge was gone.  It doesn’t help that the small trees were now giants of the forest, including the pines the nursery told my father wouldn’t grow above six feet (they lied).  Trees notwithstanding, I do believe Einstein’s possible postulation is in full effect here and the backyard has shrunk. I expect one day to return and find it gone all together.  That would be a shame because my brother and I had so much fun in the yard.    




12 Comments:

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Sugarfoot said...

I now own most of my grandfather's truck farm in New Mexico. That too has shrunk.

I remember the huge orchard in the back that was full of apples, plums and apricots where we would climb and gourge ourselves on unripened fruit and battle dragons and indians (yes, I said indians).

I remember the vast hay fields where we would hide for hours from my uncles after playing practical jokes on them while they napped on the pourch after supper and the upper field where we would keep the horses who met us with mixed emotion when we would apear with an old Spanish bridle in one hand and a green apple with a single green leaf clinging to the stem in the other.

We also had a wide river running through where we would spend hot summer days swimming in deep dark pools of crystal clear mountain water filled with trout.

What used to be 1,000 acres as a boy has slowly turned into 20 acres with a handful of scraggly fruit trees and two small creeks now void of native trout and bullfrogs.

I agree Phos, the world is shrinking. By the time I've passed this land onto others, it'll be a postage stamp-sized piece of property with thistles and a mud puddle made by the hoof of a passing goat.

 
At 11:10 PM, Blogger jin said...

I can't even walk in my parents backyard anymore.
Last Oct. 1st David & I buried our 5 year old Australian Shepard there along with a beautiful flowering tree. (There was no warning, she was healthy, or so we thought. She just never woke up in the morning.)
That seemed to take all my fond childhood memories right away. I still can't bring myself to step foot in that yard.

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger Die Muräne said...

Cool post ;)

I witnessed the same with a whole country! Once, not to long ago, Switzerland was huuuge. But it also became a victim of this shrinking effect! But maybe we shouldn't worry about that. It's just a coming back to the essence ;-D

 
At 2:42 AM, Blogger Cherry! said...

My parents moved from 3/4 of an acre to 19 acres going down to a river. Great spot. Their yard has GROWN! hahaha

 
At 6:42 AM, Blogger Becky said...

A. You got bigger, or B. the yard actually shrunk...

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger Eternally Curious said...

Personally I think the world is on a sliding scale. Literally! As a kid I walked home from school - it was 1 mile. It felt like 1/2 the girth of the earth! Then as an adult I entered many distance walks for charity, all of them much (much) longer than a mile. They all felt like a mere hop, skip and a jump! These days I walk a mile each day for exercise.

And some dang fool keeps moving the damn mile marker - I swear it!

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger nanuk said...

Shrinking earth? I'm more worried about my expanding girth.

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Sugarfoot said...

nanuk, it's probably just a hybernation layer. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

nope, definetly shrinking...

 
At 2:21 AM, Blogger Die Muräne said...

phuuuh, it's so hot here in Zurich, my brain shrinks even faster then my liver!

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

DM: There'll be no skiing this year, eh?

 
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