Monday, November 11, 2013

Tempus fugit

As a girl, I often heard my elders griping about how fast time flies. I couldn’t imagine what they were talking about. Time is time, I thought, and it passes as it passes; every day has 24 hours, and for me they were always full.

Now that I’m creeping toward 60, I know what my elders (all gone now) meant. For the past few years, time has flown by at an astonishing rate, leaving us wondering where the heck it went. And despairing over how little we accomplished on the ever-lengthening to-do list.

I used to post a blog entry every week. Now, more than two months have elapsed since last writing, and it feels like two weeks!

Here in the north country, summer is fleeting enough on the calendar; but when it whooshes by before you’ve registered its presence, it leaves a disturbing feeling. Where did the time go? What did we do wrong so that we missed it?

These days we forget how many years ago something occurred—it’s all starting to blur together. We speak in terms of decades not months. That alone makes me feel old and worried. Our lives aren’t boring; rather, they are rich and diverse, busy every day. So why is time seeming to go faster? Our general routine is the same. The seasons march by at the same tempo. What, exactly, has changed?

You’d think that as you physically slow down, the sense of time passing would decelerate with you. Instead, it’s the reverse. Huh?

Every look out the window to our neglected yard and fields underscores the point. We used to do so much. We don’t any more. We’re facing the need to size down because we can’t manage things properly, and the prospect doesn’t look good for reversing the trend.

Such thoughts echo the season change around us. It’s November now: Stick Season. The world is going gray and stark and dormant. So are we. Despite the fact that time passes faster, the dark season feels longer. I’ve already started my annual countdown to solstice, desperately awaiting the time when the days start getting longer again.

And now I’m starting to wonder how many seasons are left to me on the planet. I used to not think about that. But with so many loved ones dying off, the increasing darkness of the natural year, the terrifying prospects of a collapsing global society and economy. . . well, the need to experience spring again has become much stronger. And seems so far away.

Yet in six months when it’s here, I’ll be wondering where the heck the time went!

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog. So thoughtful, so insightful. I'm 62, my husband is 65, and . . . you are so right!