While growing up I would often hear people mention how time flies. Generally stated by those much older, it’s a concept not fully grasped until you become the person it happens to be flying by. I must be one of those much older people now, I’m beginning to see it happening to me.
Time is flying. It’s like I’m standing in the shower but it is time that’s washing over me instead of water. It runs into my eyes, I can see but it’s blurry. It trickles into my ears, randomly muting out sounds. Each drop is a minute rushing away, never to be experienced again. I reach out, trying to hold on, but it has already slipped between my fingers and is long gone – followed by another and another and another, so fast that they all move together in a steady flow.
I’m pretty sure I had the same amount of minutes not that long ago. I was a wife, mother, employee and student all at the same time. So busy you’d think those minutes would have quickly evaporated while I was in the midst of them. But back then those 1440 minutes a day seemed to last and last. Little did I know that they were silently, gradually winding up and would eventually send me catapulting through my life.
My kids are grown now and no longer at home. I’m not a wife by law although I live and love as one. I no longer work a 40-hour a week job. I dabble with community college and miscellaneous classes on occasion. Although it would seem that I am less busy these days, my hours are occupied and moments spin wildly away.
I know about being present, being here, enjoying the now – and I do. But nowadays the nows seem fleeting. A magician’s trick. Abracadabra. NOW you see me, NOW you don’t. I’ve tried to slow down, to languish, to enjoy, to coax the moments to linger with me. Yet when I look at the clock, it’s always later than I expected. When I think I have several hours before I need to be somewhere, I blink and suddenly it’s time to go. I live in the moment but the moments are flying away. I want to grab a net, nab them, and bring them back.
Last year I went backpacking for several days. Each day in the wilderness felt long, drawn out and fabulously slow. We’d walk for hours and hours, then set up camp, filter water, make dinner, etc., all before dark. Once the darkness set in, we’d retreat to the tent to read and write. Awakened by the sun, I’d crawl from the tent seeking her warmth. And, of course, coffee. Breakfast and packing up followed at a leisurely pace. And then we’d do it all again. Aside from the hard work and heavy packs, the days were slow and luxurious. Time didn’t quite stand still but it felt as if it slowed its pace. I wanted to bring these longer days home with me, I had just enough room in my pack. Try as I might I wasn’t able to entice them along or persuade them to reveal their secrets.
Back home, time once again sped up to a ridiculous pace. It is hard to keep up with. How do you reign it in? I want to throw it off its game and make it SLOW down. Would it help if I tossed out or disabled my clocks? What if I spent my life outside walking all day every day? If I didn’t have to be anywhere or do anything, would those endless days feel welcome to come join me here?
Honestly, I don’t have time to wait around and find out. There’s always something happening, something to do, pets to care for, friendships to nourish, family to call and visit and love on. I want to do all of this now, vigorously and passionately, before those moments too wash over me and slip away beyond my grasp, long gone.