The other night in downtown Asdee, Galileo, the astronomer from Italy was the topic of conversation. Back then he didn’t agree with the current belief at the time that all things revolved around the earth. He improved the telescope, dropped balls off the tower at Pisa (not Scattery), and designed the first pendulum clock. Reported for heresy he ended up in detention. Getting out of jail he looked up at the sky and said the famous words “et jam movet,”meaning ‘and still it moves.’ Years later, everyone came round to knowing what he knew. The earth is not the centre of the universe.
I thought of Galileo the other day down at the strand. The tide was fully in. Then, over me flew a flock of Barnacle Geese. There were up to 50 of them.Soon they will be heading to nest in the Arctic Circle. They flew up along the lip of the estuary . I heard them first, they sounded as if they were at prayer. They were so remote, knew exactly what they were about. They were on a mission I knew nothing of. Their complete otherness that is full of purpose. They had no interest in the land that is struggling to release the life of Spring. They dropped down onto the water, just beyond me, focused on something that is a total mystery to me. Whether I was there or not is immaterial to them. “Et jam Movet,”and still it moves, I thought, as I remembered Galileo on Littor Strand. And I am not the centre of the universe.