In ancient times it was said that the history of a nation is preserved within its soil. Nowhere is this more true than on Terra, a nation with kilometers upon kilometers of history. It has been many kilometers since I was born here, and quite a few since I last visited.
Wherever I go people always ask me about my life, as I quickly found Terra is no exception. This is probably the most annoying thing about being the oldest person in the galaxy, because at this point I barely know anything more about my youth than anyone else does. The memories of my youth have been in the public domain for eons, and countless older memories are readily available.
I went as a pilgrim to many of the ancient sites of Terra: I performed Hajj under the Solstice while the sun was in Sagittarius and the moon in Gemini, visited the old city of Jerusalem, reenacted the ancient rituals of Gobeklitepe, and visited Saint Peters Basilica.
It’s ironic how strongly the Meccans admire me. In my youth I spent centuries waiting to be permitted entry, and now my pilgrimage was the largest single gathering in history.
An entire Dyson sphere swarmed to a single city. The wormholes were packed to capacity. People were denied entry to Terra for fear of overheating. Billions of people learned the long dead language of classical Arabic after this, and it started a decades long trend in entertainment across the entire Gaian sphere.
Despite the crowding nobody died in the Hajj. Terra was sufficiently angelnetted that the worst injuries were a few broken arms.
I accidentally made history in what was supposed to be an anonymous pilgrimage due to the promotion of the Caliph.
I suddenly saw memes pop up in many dead languages after my trip: Arabic, Greek, Indonesian, Hindustani, Swahili, Tamil, and English among others. Even American sign language was revived
Even after seeing this for millennia the scale of society still impresses me. In my youth these numbers were unthinkable. More people learned English from my pilgrimage than had ever known it before, more pilgrims came to Mecca in that single week than there were ever followers of old Islam. Synchronous virtual pilgrims added onto that 100-fold and asynchronous virtual pilgrims dwarfed the synchronous pilgrims 100-fold alike.
I even saw a meme about Earth-chan not being flat, and witnessed an argument between two posters, op said that the meme came only a few years after Eratosthenes and Magellan proved Terra was round, while the other Anon said the meme likely dated back to 1973 and referenced the famous blue marble picture, since the internet didn’t exist until people had colonized Luna.
As much as this made me laugh, these weren’t idiots. Not everyone is an expert in history. In my childhood they would have been idiots, but in my childhood these were relatable times. My birth is ten times closer to that of Eratosthenes than to the present. Not knowing the bronze age copper age distinction back then didn’t make me an idiot. I sure as hell couldn’t get a joke written in ancient Sumerian, and despite being descended from it, Terran is further from English than English was from Sumerian.
As a native speaker of English I occasionally recognize words from my childhood in everyday speech, proper nouns aside they are rare. Sure I can figure out the origins of words from sound shifts, but meaning shifts are so bizarre seemingly no words mean the same thing. I get how love became laɓam but how it came to mean kugelblitz is beyond me.
I am so old but at the same time, my life is a mere drop in the ocean of the universe. I’ve seen revived dinosaurs, but my life is less than a thousandth of the time since the dinosaurs died.