Have you ever given much thought to the concept of time travel? Ever imagined yourself zipping back and forth across the time space continuum, popping in and out of history, or doing a little sight seeing in the future? It would be pretty crazy right? Most people believe that time travel only happens in science fiction books and movies. I choose to remain optimistic on the subject. With the incredible advancements being made in science and technology perhaps time travel will be more than a theory. One day we may actually be jumping through time. How cool would that be?
My time travel fantasies began when I was just a little kid. One of my favorite, early cartoons characters “Tooter Turtle” was always being transported around by his good friend Mr. Wizard. Tooter would be a cowboy one day, an armored knight, caveman or football player the next. But no matter where he went Tooter would always get himself in a fix and the Wizard would have to rescue him. The lesson to be learned was always the same, your own time is the best place to be. “It’s always better to be where you are,” the Wizard would say,“not where you are not.” But Tooter never learned. The next week he’d be off on another crazy adventure.
When I got a little older I discovered another cartoon series about time travel. It was a regular part of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, called “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.” Peabody was the most intelligent and famous, dog in the entire world. He even had a pet boy named Sherman and a gizmo called a “Wayback Machine” designed for time travel. Each week dog and boy would pass through the doors of the “Wayback Machine” and be instantly transported from the present to anywhere they wanted to go in time. It was an interesting concept and a whole lot of fun. I loved it!
By the time the new weekly TV series “The Time Tunnel,” premiered in 1966 I was hooked on time travel. Years of Peabody and an assortment of time travel related episodes of “Twilight Zone,” “Outer Limits,” and “One Step Beyond” had seen to that. The reading helped as well. I read a lot on the subject including books like H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine”and “A Wrinkle in Time,” by Madeleine L’Engle, incredible reads! Yeah, I’d have to say I was definitely into the whole time travel thing. I had that Captain Kirk ‘to boldly go where no man has gone before’ thing going on. I truly longed to be a time traveler heading back across the ages. Can you imagine how incredible it would be to go back and actually witness history firsthand? I’d do it in a heartbeat!
I recently read an article online somewhere in which a physicist said that if time travel is ever mastered, such travel would be limited to visiting the past, we couldn’t go forward, at least not at first. He also believes there is a strong likelihood that early time travel will be limited to visiting only our own lifespan. However, we wouldn’t be able to interact with our past because the first time travelers will not appear in the past as flesh and blood beings like in Back to the Future movies, there’d be no fear of running into yourself because you would be nothing more than microscopic particles, nanobots, silent, unseen observers. Not nearly as fun a way to make an entrance to the past as with the “Wayback Machine” or a DeLorean, but it’s a start.
I think it would be pretty cool to go back and visit key moments of my life, perhaps a smattering of happy samples from every year to relive and experience. But I want the whole enchilada! I want the ability to go all the way back to prehistoric times and any point in between. Whenever I’ve thought about visiting the past I’ve imagined it would be in my physical form not as a some particle or nanobot, I want to be able to interact with others from my past except myself of course, I want to really be there. I think going back as an unseen observer would be difficult. I don’t know if I’d really like to go back and be limited to watching myself making all the same mistakes all over again. I don’t really think I’d want to relive the painful parts, the moves, the break-ups, the broken-hearts, deaths, and back-stabbing pain of friendship lost. Why would I possibly want to feel all those emotion all over again? No thanks, been there, done that. I survived the first time around, let’s leave it at that. Once was definitely enough. So until they perfect a functioning “Wayback Machine” or “Time Tunnel” I guess I’m stuck right here, right now, where I belong. But maybe someday…