When the Moon Ran Wildby A Hyatt Verrill
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To the casual observer cosmic life is unchanging, yet changes in the world beyond are constantly in progress. The moon for example could increase its rotation or frequency which would naturally mean that it was coming closer to earth. A fascinating and imaginative Science fiction story of those who survive the disaster and try to build a new civilization in the strange and greatly altered world.
Age has many advantages, that is, if together with age one retains all one's faculties; one's health, strength, and energy.
It enables one to observe life in the proper perspective; I might say it enables one to weigh and measure events according to their influences, exerted through a long period of time, instead of for a very transitory present. It enables one to acquire experience, and wisdom, impossible to obtain in any other way. It instills in one a deep knowledge of people, of the world around one, and of life in general that can come only through long years of constant association. It demonstrates with absolute conviction the triviality of matters which youth deems vitally important. But perhaps most of all it enables one to revisualize most vividly and accurately the events of years past which, as recorded in books, are seldom wholly accurate and which are very often totally incorrect.
At the time of the occurrence of which I write I was then considered an elderly man. Elderly! In those days sixty years of age was "elderly" with the expectations, no, the possibility, of ten or at the most twenty additional years of life providing one had no malignancy, serious illness or fatal accident.
Yet now-- almost two centuries have passed-- yes; one hundred and ninety of the old-time years, for it was in the year 1964 of the old calendar that the moon ran wild, while this year according to the reckoning of my youth, would be A. D. 2154 - after almost two centuries, as I say, I am still alive, I still retain my health, my strength, my vigor, all my faculties, and am no older mentally or physically than on that day of 1964 of the old calendar when I looked upon myself as "middle-aged" and by others was considered "elderly".
But everything in this world - and for all I know in the next world as well -- is a matter of custom, of habit, of environment and relativity.
I cannot help thinking, and am personally convinced of the fact, that there was an omnipotent power back of the whole affair; that it had been planned and ordained by the Creator from the beginning of time and was as inexorable as Fate, and that it was Divine Justice that the race, having been all but destroyed, should have been given the blessing of greater longevity. And though I am poorly equipped for the task who can say I was not deliberately permitted to survive in order that I might record my experiences for the benefit of those who have come later?
From a scientific standpoint I feel certain what happened was a repetition of a cycle in universal history so far as our planet and its satellite were concerned.
No doubt; in fact, beyond any possibility of a doubt in my mind, each of the recurrent cycles has been shorter and less violent than those preceding it. And while I believe that the same or rather a similar catastrophe will occur again sometime in the distant future, I am equally as convinced that the next occurrence will be briefer and of less intensity than this last one. Yet even today and notwithstanding the advances we have made in research we actually know very little about the history of our planet or of the natural laws governing the Universe.
I know -- we all know -- what actually took place during that shattering, paralyzing moment in time known now as the "time when the moon ran wild". We all know more or less, too, the immediate and far-reaching results which were an end-product of that time. But no one knows - despite innumerable guesses and theories -- why it occurred; why (within historic times) it had never occurred before, why it did not continue indefinitely, why the world slipped back into its accustomed (or nearly accustomed) place, or whether it may or may not re-occur at any moment again.
According to all accepted theories and supposedly natural laws, as adhered to up to 1964, our earth followed (as it has followed for infinite aeons) a definite course or orbit about the sun, at the same time rotating upon its own axis.
According to the then-accepted ideas, our own satellite the moon followed its orbit around the earth and accompanied us on our journey around the sun. According to these ideas the force known as "gravitation" kept everything in place and in proper relationship, and according to the natural laws as established by scientists any alteration in the fixed positions, the customary movements, the plotted planetary orbits, would result in absolute chaos, the annihilation of celestial bodies and a variety o
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