A moment in time

While most people were probably hitting the snooze button, pulling the sheets over their shoulders and grasping tightly to some final hours of sleep this morning, I had the assignment of joining a couple dozen spirited souls who woke early and gathered for a moment in time.

While you were sleeping, this morning held a rare numerical occurrence that — depending how technical you want to get — happens once in a millennium. The moment came at six seconds after 4:05 a.m.

Combine the time and date and you have a sequential order of 04:05:06 07-08-09.

Under a full moon, I met the group of about 20 local residents -- I was pleasantly surprised at the number, around 3:45 a.m. in a city park. A clock counted down the minutes and seconds on a laptop, while pastries and coffee, provided by a local coffee shop, were spread on a picnic table. Some came dressed in their pajamas. Dogs came, too.

As the moment approached, the group joined in a countdown of the final seconds. Then, they erupted in cheers and laughter before returning to their conversing over coffee.

There were no signs of The Apocalypse. The computer didn’t explode. Aliens didn’t descend from the sky to attack. Nobody was hurt.

To be fair to other numbers geeks out there, Father Time offers up a sequential moment in each of the next six years. Although Wednesday’s exact sequence won’t occur again until 3009, a different sequence will be marked an hour later next year at 5:06:07 a.m. on Aug. 9.

Internet sites have posted the ensuing sequences on their virtual calendars with the last one occurring at 9:10:11 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2014.

Others, I learned, marked the sequential time at 12:34:56 7-8-9. I would argue, however, that sequence is a stretch because it doesn't conform to a standard dd-mm-yy timestamp. And nobody says " ... in the year '9." Again, a technicality.

The organizers of this morning's local event already are planning for next year. They were handing out “save the date” fliers for the Second Annual Sequential Gathering.

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