Sometimes I feel that life is passing me by, not slowly either, but with ropes of steam and spark-spattered wheels and a hoarse roar of power or terror. It’s passing, yet I’m the one who’s doing all the moving. ~ Martin Amis
I remember my parents commenting on occasion about how fast time traveled. Kids growing up, passages marked by a driver’s license or graduation, always drew the somewhat misty recollection of “It seems just yesterday….” Trips to see grandparents or getting cornered by older relatives at the family gatherings often involved the words “Back in my day…..” and “I remember when…..” As a child, my sense of time was impatient, wanting to get on with the growing up part, to be old enough to do all the things I wanted and when I wanted. I never expected to be the one looking backwards.
Today marks the end of the twelfth week of our ongoing hospital adventures. In many ways, it feels as though it has been forever since my husband and I slept in the same room, lived in the same place. Our abode is full of my mess, with no one else to blame but the cat for the lopsided piles of accumulated mail and remains of the various days. With school back in session, my calendar is backed up with meetings and appointments, the daily business of work. My days begin and end at the hospital with my husband, his new location thankfully on the bus line just a short trip to my job. Laundry and groceries are done when possible, food and sleep happen on an as-needed basis. I’m grateful to the folks who excuse my weary eyes and the hopefully-only-occasional lack of attention span or impatient sigh.
One of my recent hospital-weekend reads was The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. In addition to being a fascinating story, it appealed to me primarily for its discussions about time and its passages, time keeping and time spending. It spoke to my current sense of time’s duality, of feeling like time has sped by us while we’ve been waiting, healing, yet simultaneously crept along as we wait and heal moment by moment, celebrating the moments of movement and progress of whatever size.
Consider the word “time.” We use so many phrases with it. Pass time. Waste time. Kill time. Lose time. In good time. About time. Take your time. Save time. A long time. Right on time. Out of time. Mind the time. Be on time. Spare time. Keep time. Stall for time. There are as many expressions with “time” as there are minutes in a day. But once, there was no word for it at all. Because no one was counting. Then Dor began. And everything changed.
― Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper
There was a crisp in the early morning fog this morning, and Halloween items lined the aisles at the grocery store. Smells of apple crisp and woodsmoke mark the return of autumn. The family’s Thanksgiving turkey, straight from the county fair, is waiting in the freezer.
I’m almost ready for summer.