I was looking at a little sterling silver ring that I have which has Amber on the top as the gemstone. I like Amber. It’s one of only a few things that humans use in jewelry that once was a part of another living thing. In this case it is tree sap, which dates anywhere from 150 million to 300 million years old, which has hardened and fossilized into gorgeous hues of color ranging from bright orange to a warm honeyed brown. Sometimes, and rarely, the more recent pieces of Amber have some type of insect trapped inside. They landed on the tree sap when it was sticky, got trapped, and ended up totally incased in the sap, which then hardened around it.
These rare pieces of Amber with the insects inside have been the subject of many fictional works. They were the entire basis for how dinosaurs were recreated in Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park”. A “Dragonfly in Amber” was a book by Diana Gabaldon which she used as a representation of something of great beauty which is preserved, and exists out of its proper time….in the case of this novel it was one of Gabaldon’s characters who represented the dragonfly.
Many human beings are interested in these types of things. To me, they represent something tangible which I can hold in my hand that has such great age that I can barely comprehend it. Here is something which has existed for thousands of a human’s lifetime, and within it is contained a once living creature who’s life ended by the chance of landing on something from which it could not escape.
Time also fascinates me. The age of our planet is almost beyond my comprehension. The fact that a creature which has been spawned by this planet could evolve to the point where he or she could consider that vast amount of time amazes me.
As a student in Geology classes, we learned all the ages, that are used to classify the passage of time of our home planet. We learned how life developed slowly over long periods of that time. Out of our planets 4.5 billion year age, most complex life has developed only in the last 500 million year, and humans only in last 200 thousand years, with written human history only being a recent 5,000 years beginning with the Sumerians….or thereabouts. We’re really newcomers on this planet. The dinosaurs were around hundreds of times longer than we.
I’m sorry, I regress and blabber.
There’s really not much of a point to this post. I’m not trying to teach, nor am I trying to preach. I only know as I looked at that piece of Amber this morning I tried to reach back into it’s past and I felt comforted to know even a little bit of it’s history. As I turned away and tried to project my thoughts towards the future, and what we humans might one day be, I could not find a situation in my thoughts which made sense, given where we are now.
I could only think of that dragonfly which accidentally landed on the sticky sap that ended up becoming Amber. How that was totally random and unplanned. The dragonfly certainly could not comprehend the danger he was in. He didn’t have much of a brain.
We humans do.