What would you put in a time capsule?
I pondered this question this week, after reading our story about a Crofton family that dug up a time capsule they’d buried in 1999, 20 years ago. They chose artwork of depicting some of the things they thought might have come to pass by now, along with musical hits of the era, magazines and newspapers. They also wrote letters to the future.
All in all their assemblage seems quite meaningful, and I think I’d take a page out of their book. I, too, would include a newspaper or two (the Cowichan Valley Citizen, of course). It would also be fun to include some pop culture mementos that represent our time. Nowadays, these could be easily stored on a memory stick or portable hard drive. Say, my favourite musical artists and maybe an episode of a TV show. I think those would be fun to look back on (and probably laugh at).
I’d include some kind of electronic gadget of the day, but I’m too thrifty to consign something that expensive to two decades of disuse (and it would probably be obsolete, or at least retro, by the time a time capsule was dug up). But there would have to be some kind of acknowledgment of the ubiquity of the smart phone. Maybe I could get one that’s defunct and include that.
I’m likewise torn on the idea of including a piece of trendy clothing or two for future teenagers to either scoff at or decide they’re an awesome throwback. Maybe just a photo lookbook of current trends?
I’d also include photos of my family, including my pets, and the area in which I live. Just this summer I lost my 19-year-old cat, and think including a memory of him would be meaningful to me.
I think the letters are a great idea, noting people’s dreams for the future and what they’d like to say to their future selves and family and friends.
It would also be really interesting to try to predict what 20 years from now might be like. How different will it be? We are living in a time of rapid change. Just think about the dramatic way the world has changed since 1900 — electricity in homes, refrigerators, vaccines, air travel, cars, computers — it’s mind-blowing.
These days we have to consider the differences that climate change will bring.
On a lighter note, I think it would be hilarious to include (in some kind of container), a processed food item or two, just to see how it ages over a couple of decades.