The Illusion of Time

1 Jun

Out on a drive today, on our way to return a borrowed item, we started to talk about how much time we had left up here and how it should be parcelled out. Wow, who knew how busy our lives would become, after we retired!

Yeah, I know how trite that sounds. You’ve heard it said on a thousand ads aimed at the retired crowd in hopes of separating them from some of their money. But it seems, in our case to be true, even when we strive to reach the exact opposite. Life conspires against us, or so it seems. Or maybe it’s just our desire to spend as much time as possible with each of our daughters and their families.

Just another Island lake.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the Island, most of the people I love  live there.  It’s beyond beautiful. I just can’t take the climate anymore. It rains a lot, that’s why it’s so verdant and green. It’s also cold; coastal influence, you know. This makes me sad as I grew up and spent the better part of my adult life on the waters of the Northern Pacific Ocean, but when I say I can’t stand the cold anymore I mean it. If the temperature drops below  21C or 72F and the air is damp, I start to seize up and suffer from pain in my joints. Hence the reason why Baja was a no brainer when it came to where to spend our winters. The problem comes with where to spend our summers and what to do while we’re back in Canada.

Me, back in my working days.

I miss not seeing views like this regularly anymore!

Our kids and their families are very important to us and we want to spend as much time with each one as we can, but therein lies the problem. One lives on Vancouver Island, in the temperate rain forest, the other lives in Penticton, an arid, fruit growing area, in the desert interior of BC, about 400 km from the island. Plus it requires a ferry ride every time we wish to get on or off the island. A not inexpensive ferry ride, especially when we’re towing the dingy.

Our doctor also lives on the island, so we spend a lot of time going back and forth, visiting with our relatives and friends and lately, seeing the doctor a little more often as minor and a few major medical problems have crept up, lo these last couple of years.

We also eventually, go a little stir crazy. We’re used to being on our own a lot, way down the path less travelled, so getting back to civilization,  all the people and noise start to wear after a while and we need to get away. A couple of years ago, it was a trip around Alberta, this year we’re heading to the Arlington Air Show, just south of the border in Washington State. That’s after I go to the island for 2 weeks to help my youngest daughter while her husband is at a conference, get a medical test done, see my doctor, visit with my sister and maybe get up island to see a few friends. Then back to Penticton, where Richard will be in the process of building a wooden privacy fence along the back of the kids yard.

Some of the land around Penticton

We will then get into Grummy and head back over to the island again so Richard can have a visit with everyone, then back to Penticton as it’s easier to get to Arlington from there.

While we’re doing all this to and froing, there are repairs to the Grummy and our little Asuna that must be undertaken, plus re-provisioning of supplies and spare parts that we can’t get in Mexico. There are jobs we undertake for the kids, that they don’t have the time or expertise to do, as well as babysit once in a while to give the kids a night out, alone. Add in when we light out on our own for a while, and the time seems to fly. There never seems to be enough to go around before we realize it’s time to start thinking about heading south again.

According to Einstein’s  Theory of Relativity, the passage of time in a faster moving reference frame is slower than the passage of time in a slower moving reference frame. That means that if you were standing on the event horizon of a black hole, even though movement of energy is tremendously fast, time for you would be passing very slowly. Now I don’t have the qualifications to argue with Einstein, but it always feels to us as if the exact opposite were true. Time spent in civilization where everyone seems to be moving at the speed of light, moves so fast for us, that we feel like we’ve only just arrived somewhere, when it’s time to leave again. Time spent on the beach in Baja, where civilization such as we know it seems to be a million miles away, slides by  so slowly  that when it’s  time to leave, it almost comes as a surprise.

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2 Responses to “The Illusion of Time”

  1. Klaus Kommoss June 1, 2011 at 1:41 am #

    I’m convinced the psychological experience of time has almost nothing to do with the phenomenon physicists call time. The time you mean is a trick the mind invented to arrange experiences, a conversion of reality into a form the mind can deal with. I think they are forever unreconcilable.
    I think it’s in a literal way wonderful to see this, experience this. One more step away from blieving your mind, another step toward enlightenment.

    • Alexis Thuillier June 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

      I think this is the human ability to exist in our personal version of reality, which may or may not include anyone else’s version of reality.

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