The Lost Villa of Morneau

“Time and tide wait for no man”, declared Geoffrey Chaucer, back in the day.

And boy am I feelin’ it.

I turned 50 this year, and as much as I’d like to subscribe to the pithy “50 is the new 40” maxim, I’m afraid it’s simply a bromide framed to help us ignore the realities and indignities of aging.

If you, faithful reader, are of similar vintage, you know precisely what it’s like to wander the house, befuddled, searching endlessly for those newly acquired reading glasses, only to find them perched precariously atop your receding hairline.  And then to discover that you can’t find the book for which you needed the darn glasses in the first place.

I could go on and on – lost keys, misplaced children, that time I found myself half-way to Banff after I simply went out to buy a gallon of milk – but I’ll spare you the weary details.

At least I’m getting wiser, I tell myself.

Which brings me to the news this morning that Finance Minister Bill Morneau failed to disclose, for two years, property that he owns in Europe via one of his private corporations.

I must confess to a twinge of annoyance, at first, when I read through the story.  I mean, it’s almost too easy to get a hate-on for a man who can so casually own a villa in the south of France that he actually completely forgets that he has it.

But then, upon some further reflection, a bit of my age-acquired wisdom surfaced.

The finance minister is, after all, 54 years old.  And the fact that he is stratospherically richer than me shields him not one iota from the absent-mindedness that creeps up on all of us.  “Time and tide wait for no man.”

So he misplaced a villa.  Big deal.  Could happen to any of us.  “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone,” we are rightly advised in the Gospel according to John.

The Mayans lost entire civilizations as they got older, for crying out loud.

So back off, I say.  Leave the man in peace.

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