It hits us all at one time or another in numerous quiet and not-so-quiet instances. We are getting older; we are getting old. Time is marching, no matter how hard we run and hide and try for a sleight of mind. We know in that quiet heart-voice that the physical resilience and harsh innocence of youth have turned the corner; never to be quite ours again.
We don’t see this passing or feel this passing as it is happening. It is only in retrospect that we look over our shoulders and see the minutes have become mountains of time-slapped events that we can catalogue and count. A phrase like, “Well, about twenty years ago,” can give us a “tunk” upside the head. “Twenty years ago?” Dear God!
Time is an interesting task master. It heals all wounds. It waits for no man. It is fleeting as it crawls. We mark our minutes by it and our hours; then our years and our generations. We catalog it, get caught in it and run from it. Yet, in essence, time is only the hash marks we use to organize ourselves and others as we move through life. Time helps us keep track of the “who” and the “what” and the “when” and the “how-long.”
The real markers, though, seem to be our bodies; they track time quietly or not so quietly. Those aches and pains, mirrors and reflections tell us that our “outside,” this vehicle that carries our souls, is beginning to change, to show the dents and the dings, the wear and the tear of our hours on earth. Yet inside, remarkably, resides the timeless soul-filled powerhouse that drives us; that derides and sanctions the actions or lack thereof that mark us as oh-so-very human. A wonder-aching child stands next to the crinkle-eyed adult; the saint and the sinner stand hand-caught within us as we peer out at the world.
The hourglass fills and empties. Life moves and stops. We count it all in tick-ding seconds, as we place ourselves somewhere on a continuum that society and culture give kudos or judgment to. “We should be doingthis by now. We should have accomplished that by now. We are too young for this or too old for that.” Time on the run can be cruel, a harsh whip that strikes with too-little or too-much as it flays us and whistles its song in passing.
So, let’s remove time’s running shoes for a bit. Let’s put the clock down. Take out the battery or still the pendulum and rest in the moment; feel and celebrate in the breadth and reach of our heart-scanning. For therein lies the true delight of this living thing; therein resides the essence of the child or the sage that carries our souls at this moment. Stand quiet and know that this is life and it is at its most beautiful and at its most elegant here, right now.