NE wonders when there came to man the sense of time, and the thought of its division into units. In rudimentary form it must have followed consciousness very quickly, for when man became man the earth, in its incomprehensible space spinning, was revolving daily, following its long-formed habit. It seemed, of course, very flat and very stable. Primus knew that it was because he could see it. Secundus has learned to modestly doubt the evidence of his senses, and is not so cocksure that what seems to be, surely is.
But the rising and setting sun were at first the surest thing that happened. Some days were wet, some dry. heat and cold alternated, but through it all the faithful sun never ceased to rise and steadily traverse the heavens, till he disappeared behind the western line of shore and sea.
Then some observing savage saw that he was followed by a shadow that was longer in the morning and towards sunset and vanished at high noon. He soon traced it to the sun and found that its length was the same every day and at every part of the day.
Finally there was fashioned an instrument having a gnomon that intercepted the rays of the sun and projected a shadow upon a disc. It measured dies, the day. We call it the dial. To us it seems a crude contrivance and its interest is historic and poetic. It is a monument of the past held in tender regard.
Images: Courtesy of Margie Whitnah (a WNP member)Read more about the Sundial and Ingleside Terraces!
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