I was time-travelling again. I do this during those moments of wakefulness when everyone else in the house is sleeping. I don’t know what brings it on, but my mind just wanders into the darkened passages that lead to all of that which was once a part of me.
There’s nothing incredibly ‘thinky’ about my wanderings, only a smile of recognition, an embrace of recollection. Last night I was back at my first school, my nursery school. I had been taken to the gates by my mother and then I walked into the fact of my then life.
There was a large metal handrail that ran the length of the path. It was painted white and some of the other kids had already taken to swinging their small frames around it; gymnastics before we ever knew they existed. I followed their lead and managed the 360 degrees revolution with relative ease. The path was concrete, laid down in one continuous strip. There were faces that I have not seen in the lifetime since and they walked alongside. What lay ahead of us, we did not know.
I looked back to where my mother was still standing. She was in conversation with another, but saw me, smiled, and waved a hand of reassurance. I waved back and was gone into a world of walls, fences, and enforced consumption of milk that was delivered in tiny, child-sized bottles.
What the experts say:
In the philosophy of time, presentism is the belief that neither the future nor the past exists. The opposite of presentism is ‘eternalism’, which is a belief in things that are past and things that are yet to come exist eternally.
One other view (that has not been held by very many philosophers) is sometimes called the growing block theory of time, which is a theory that takes the past and present to exist but the future to be nonexistent.