Thursday, 26 November 2009

How old is old?

How old is old?

When does ‘an old lady’ become an old lady?

How old is old to qualify as ‘indigenous’?

These were a few of the questions posed by people I met this week as I travelled along life’s journey. I like questions, particularly those that are posed with an air of intrigue and curiosity. Some people may use the term nosey or even inquisitive and indeed that may be the case. I guess that depends on the questioner and the intention of the question. But hey, sometimes it makes for an interesting conversation if perused in the spirit of openness and fun.

As a little girl anyone over 20 was old! However, as the little girl grew up and became 20, 30 etc – old moved much further down the timeline. Currently it sits at 80 something.In fact, I’ve found myself referring to the ‘old’ word as ‘mature’. Well it does bring about a certain life experience with it, don’t you agree? One of my girlfriends was promptly reminded of walking the timeline when playing a game with her little grandson. After a triumphant win he shared that he didn’t want to be beaten by ‘an old lady’… ouch!

Then there’s ‘indigenous’. I love that word. It takes me back to travelling days when the tour guide would point out trees, plants, and fauna, all indigenous to the area. For me, there was something about the sound of the word which conjured up images of trees, plants and fauna that had been around for years and years, as in once upon a time, long before my days as a little girl. A friend of mine told me about an interesting discussion he had about ‘indigenous trees’. How old were they? How old do they need to be to qualify as ‘indigenous’? We don’t know the answer but if you do, let us know.

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