I have been here two years today – or perhaps tomorrow, or yesterday. Solstice to solstice is 365 days, give or take a couple. With time, the uncertainly will become smaller. With time. I do not want more time here, I want to go home!
I can almost see R’adel’, almost hear his voice. Jarn, what were you thinking? No proximity override, no sublight emergency beacon, scarcely any supplies? The answer is simple, if painful: I was not thinking.
Oh, I can build an interstellar power plant, or could if I had the supplies. But without the resources of home? No, I am stuck here. Even if Songbird’s people come back, I can only watch them grow old and die while I live on, unaging, unchanging, with my remnants of civilization slowly decaying around me.
Time. At least I am beginning to have a feel for how it runs on this planet. Equinoxes are not as easy to identify as solstices, but I think the time from southward equinox to northward equinox is about 170 days, while that from northward equinox to southward equinox is close to 195 days. Perihelion must be close to the southern solstice – which is an interesting bit of trivia, but not of any use except to set up a calendar.
The days are close to their shortest – will be at their shortest, in another month – but still far longer than I can keep traveling, even in the crude sandals I’ve managed to make. I need to start exploring again, as I did before I first found the footprints of Songbird’s people. Who knows, perhaps I could find their Gathering? If nothing else, I can explore in the direction they went, and memorize teleportation coordinates that will take me closer to them, as well as those that will provide more food.
Author’s note: I worked out the calendar for roughly 125,000 years ago from <http://www.thetropicalevents.com/>, assuming that the exact date of Jarn’s crash coincided with perihelion at the southern solstice. The eccentricity of the earth’s orbit was at that time quite a bit larger than today, thus the difference in length of the different seasons was also larger.
By the way, I was interviewed Feb 8 on Christine Warner’s blog. Stop by and say hello!