banner logo for CarbonWriter
URL Copied
Einstein's Weather
It's all about boats and twigs
26 May 2020 . 3min read

I'm not sure what the weather is like, where you are, or I guess when you are. It's been sunshiny here. Not the kind of basking sunshine, but it seems like a taste of the start of summer.

The next day, it was still sunny. Nice blue skies. It was lovely.

Then, it was sunny, with a blustery wind. Not the kind to knock you off your feet, or to blow anything substantial over. No, it was just blowy.

Having been tending towards the warmer end of things, I've had my bedroom window on the first latch. As I lay there, trying as always to trick myself into sleeping, the wind was really whistling through the gap. It was swirling around. As it hit each edge, a different tone filled the room; whistle to drone.

Which got me thinking.

Obviously, about water, sticks, and, of course, stones. Not in that order.

Weather has the strange capacity to provoke thought. In the sunshine, we can feel euphoric and optimistic. In the rain, we can feel either refreshed or depressingly soaked. A storm outside can make us feel cosy and safe inside.

I think that is why, when asked, I have said that I would never want to live in a place where the weather was uniform. I need that change.

Change is a difficult thing, though. When it is forced upon us, it can be distressing. When it is instigated by us, it can fulfilling. When it doesn't happen, it can either be comforting or frustrating.

Someone once said to me it is easier to steer a moving boat. They were speaking both practically and metaphorically.

When I started on this writing experiment, it was for an entire stack of reasons. The main reason was that I wanted to keep the boat moving. Well, actually, I wanted to start the boat moving.

That notion has become more nuanced in recent times, and I now think of it with reference to a flowing river.

Some choose to sit and watch the river rush by. Some need or want to stand in the middle of the river. They are like a reed that is holding steadfast as the water rushes around them. As the water races by, the effort needed to hold on and the speed of the water creates the rush of feeling of movement. For some in the river, they are pebbles, pulled down onto the riverbed. Trying to make themselves as smooth as possible to let the water flow over them, with as little fuss as possible.

I'm sure we have all experienced this kind of emotive experiences.

Before I started this, I was the pebble. After starting this, I was the reed.

Recently, I have seen another alternative. One where everything can rush by, but which is also still. The twig in the river is both stationary in the water, but also moving along. Letting the river dictate the journey. So, for a little while, I'm going to give that a try; the twig.

Albert Einstein's theory of General Theory of Relativity, although referring to Time, says that in principle you should measure things by their relation or relativity to yourself.

To those sitting on the riverside, the reed, even the pebble, the twig is racing along. The twig's view of it is different. It can see the riverbank, the pebble, the reed, moving past. From their own relative perspective, though, they are still & calm. They are also travelling somewhere.

So what does that mean, here? Well, for a start this newsletter will remain free & weekly, like the twig with that sense of stillness & calm. It will, though, be changing identity. There's no need to be alarmed.

In identifying as the twig, it is just an expression of the riverbank moving by; the river is the journey that will undoubtedly lead to somewhere.

The most important thing, though, is that my metaphorical boat will still be moving along.

I love the micro-world of moss and it's family and friends. So colourful and varied. I really should make more time to appreciate it.


Profile photo of Nigel Derbyshire

I'm a carbon-unit who writes; a Carbon Writer. Life & culture are my default topics, mixed with a little English wit & sarcasm. Full of mostly true stories, I occasionally remember to write them down. Found in a crowd, or contemplating in a corner. Habit of talking to anyone. Author.
- Nigel Derbyshire