One giant Douglas Fir on Vancouver Island (pictured here with Rika) is over 800 years old, 76 meters tall and 9 meters round. It was over 300 years old when Christopher Columbus came to North America in 1492. Douglas Fir is one of Canada’s oldest living tree species and can live to be over 1,000 years old.
Just think of that – 1000 years old! WikiTree tells us, “Life was simple [1,000 years ago in England]. People wore the simple, sack-like tunics with leggings that we laugh at in the Monty Python movies. Most adults died in their forties. The wheeled plough was the foundation of life for English people. Good and evil were living companions to people in the year 1000. When someone was said to have the Devil in him, people took it quite literally. Jack Frost was not “weather” to people who had to survive without central heating through a damp medieval winter. He was mischief personified — a kinsman of the Devil, nipping noses and fingers, making the ground too hard to work. He was one of a legion of little people, elves and trolls and fairies, who inhabited the fears and imaginings of early medieval folk.”
And a tree that has been around for 1,000 has seen 1,000 summers, 1,000 winters – how many storms? Where am I going with this? History. History teaches us how things work – how people work. There are patterns and warnings and lessons and revelations to be found in history. The rise and fall of empires and economies can teach us what to expect in our own times. And if we know what we can reasonably expect to happen, since it has happened like clockwork so many times before, we can prepare for it.
We can buy hundreds of years of insight and experience through history. And the books are free online and through the library. There us really no excuse not to learn from history, to be better prepared, to be forewarned and forearmed. Read Joel C. Rosenberg’s wonderful book, “The Auschwitz Escape.” Learn from Michael Maloney.
In our day and age, we tend to ignore the elderly and what they can teach us. We are so hell bent on making a buck, surviving, impressing the neighbours, sport, and so on, that we tend to miss the opportunities and warnings that history can provide for us. Read, study, review. Someone once said that you may not be interested in politics, but politics is definitely interested in you. History can definitely protect us in that instance, as well.