You can’t jump in the same river twice

The actual quote is: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man,” by Heraclitus. It is quite a fitting quote for the times, as our “old life” slowly begins to resume. But the thing is, it isn’t our old life, it’s a new normal. While the same activities may resume, they are strangely not the same.

Take returning to school. You would think that this would be the same. The same school run, the same lessons, the same timetable, the same children. Even the same teachers, the same chat by the school gates. But it isn’t, it is more complicated than that, we have all been changed, for better or worse, it has happened. The school run is physically the same, it is my perception that is different. The same children are sat in the classrooms, but they are different They have been changed by the past year. We all have.

So that something that should feel familiar feels strangely alien and we have to feel our way forwards towards a new way of being. Time will breed familiarity, the school run will start to feel routine, the chat will return to the everyday murmurings. But at the moment everything feels brand new. Like we had the chance to start over, to do things differently this time, to do them better.

Maybe we will just fall back into our old tracks, our old routines. Perhaps we will gossip in the same way. Possibly we will stand in the same place by the railings. Just speak to the same people, but I’m not so sure. We have changed, the river has changed, the old ways have been washed away, and maybe, just maybe, we have the chance to build something entirely new.

Not just a hobby…

You probably view your horses as a hobby, or an indulgence, but it is not that many years ago that the skills of being able to ride, or drive or to look after a horse would be crucial to your survival. In the pre-car age horses were used extensively, both as a mode of transport and as part of your working team. It was only through the mass arrival of the motorcar that horses became obsolete.

But, if the predicted oil demise happens before the technology that will enable electric cars to become a genuine alternative happens, how else could you get around? By horse. Wouldn’t that be great? You could ride to work on your horse, along empty roads (there’s no fuel left in my scenario!) and tether him in your work’s unused car park…

Suddenly the horse would no longer be a luxury or an inconvenience, but would be an asset and your skills would be essential. Get your driving skills going, grab yourself a carriage and some harness and you are ready to go into business…horse drawn taxi service anyone?

I know this is unlikely, but the idea of living in a world where we all traveled by foot, bike or horse, just seems better…slower…but better. So the next time someone makes a comment about how you are wasting your time and money on horses, just tell them it’s an investment in the future! It might not be true, but it will probably shut them up and leave you free to imagine a world where all the roads are filled with the clip clop of horses hooves, rather than the endless roar of cars.

Photo credit Simon Palmer