Three (or four) score years and ten

Wait for it folks: here's a new Theory of Relativity (with apologies to Mr Albert Einstein).

All things are relative, especially the thing we call 'time'. A butterfly with a lifespan of but one summer does not count or discount the passing hours as do we. A dog has a small memory of things past, a huge understanding of things present, zero understanding of, interest in, or concern about the future. If an oak tree has the consciousness that some would believe, it would see our three score years and ten as little more than an irrelevant flicker. I look out over the sea loch and see the mountain called Beinn Airidh Charr that has been there, virtually unchanged, since the last age of ice filed it into its present shape as it slid great glaciers on their way down to the sea. On my window ledge is a fossil given us by our lovely daughter in law who found it newly loosened from a Dorset cliff; it was once a thing that lived on the bed of the sea before that bed folded up to become a cliff or a mountain. We are led to understand that there are bodies in space that pre-date our planet earth by billions upon billions of our so-called years.

Everything is created, everything changes, degrades / dies / disappears, in the process freeing its atomic structure possibly as contribution to some new creation: butterflies, dogs, us, mountains, planets, all the same. Time does not exist other than as a comfortable anchor against the tides of uncertainty or insanity for such as you and I.

Only age exists and age can be measured only by its effects, only in its degradation. That's my theory of relativity anyway. Perhaps 'sixty is the new forty' after all?

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