Two and a half thousand years ago the Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously remarked that you can never step in the same river twice. Nothing stays the same. Not humans, or nations, or landscapes. For Heraclitus, ever-present change was the fundamental essence of the universe.
We grow and change and age every single day. And there’s nothing we can do to halt that process. Nations change too – they come into being, then welcome new citizens to help them grow and develop. Empires, where one nation uses force and brutality to enslave other nations, eventually crumble and fade away.
Geologically, landscapes change with infinite slowness. But while humans are capable of improving the world around them, all too often they do more harm than good, and damage with unfortunate alacrity. We can create such beauty, but also destroy and scar the landscape, and the lives of those who live there, with such thoughtlessness, not only for the present but also for the future.
It’s interesting to see how change in one community can reflect the way in which wider society and landscapes are altered. In the current issue of iScot Magazine, I look at how life in the beautiful village of Killin has changed over the years, and at how many of those changes mirror what was happening in the wider world. But more than that, I also look at what’s there to be enjoyed today – and that’s plenty!