I used to think that the old saw, ‘This too shall pass,’ was comforting. Actually, it wears two faces. There are times, happy ones, when I wish Time could be stored forever and other times—as now, when a very nasty hurricane threatens the eastern coast— when my fervent hope is that Time will speed up and clear out. Neither is practical, of course, for Time has but one mission in life: to move forward at its own pace.
I am especially thinking of Time today because our grandson has just started high school. While delighted that he has taken that stride in the pursuit of learning, I also remember when, as a laughing baby, he took his first faltering steps Could that have been 13 years ago? Surely not, and yet my gray hairs (and the fact that he towers above me) testify to the march of Time. The years ahead will bring wonderful events, I am sure, but at the moment I wallow in nostalgia for Time past.
Grandson to high school…
Just a few summers ago
He took his first steps!
Time rules our lives, doesn’t it? Our speech is littered with words and expressions like ‘timely,’ ‘time out,’ and lost time.’ We set ourselves or are given deadlines and schedules, obligations and contracts. We race from one task to another, hardly finishing one before seeing the next on the horizon. The story is finally written? That article comes next. The project is completed—ah, but I need to start on the baby quilt for a friend’s grand daughter. The poor child needs to get it before she turns twenty one! One meeting is over, but there are two more scheduled this week. Tasks and projects become jumbled so that what should be deliberate and pleasurable becomes pressure instead.
The universe, I’m told, is under pressure, too. Our galaxy and the other myriad galaxies of our known universe apparently march to their own beat of Time. Eventually our sun will become a red giant, then a white dwarf, and finally nova. Not that we need to worry about this since this solar time continuum stretches for billions of years, but the truth is that the whole shebang is on the clock.
Fine, I tell myself. I will go on vacation, not worry about anything, and simply soak up relaxation. But that holiday, so carefully and lovingly planned, passes in a blink of… well, you know the culprit.
So what’s to be done? The obvious solution would be to live in the moment, to enjoy every minute of life no matter what joys or sorrows crowd that minute. Perhaps other people can accomplish this, but in spite of every good intention, I can only manage it for short bursts of Time. Those short bursts are precious though, like the misty morning walk along the beach when the world is hushed and the waves rustle like silk across the sand. Like the time when the sun pierces the darkness and all the birds in the world burst into song. Like the unexpected hug from a grandchild which causes Time to lose its power.
And then I think… Time doesn’t always call the shots. Beethoven and Da Vinci and Michaelangelo live on in music and art though they themselves do not walk the earth. Great writers come to life every time a book is loved or a poem quoted. They’ve learned the only way to beat Time … and perhaps that is why we write, or paint, or sew or sculpt or photograph our thoughts and dreams… not for hope of immortality or fame but simply because we want to slow Time just enough to leave a small marker that is uniquely ours.
Shimmer of moonlight…
If I capture this moment
Will you remember?