Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Elusive Time

This is a different kind of post for me.  Not much in pictures, mostly just lost in quiet thought.  If you are in the mood to read and ponder, please join me today.

This little man is ready for life.  The picture was snapped some 60+ years ago.  What did he do with his time?  Where did it take him, I wonder?

There is a home that I have driven by with relative frequency over the last 15 years.  It is in a town not far from me and the house sets along the side of a well traveled road.  The house itself is quite unremarkable.  In fact the only reason it stands out is because it is quite unkempt.  A low ranch with peeling paint, dirty windows, weeds strangling out any form of lawn that may have once been, various items from times forgotten strewn haphazardly about and a rusty chain link fence sagging in places from being kicked or perhaps just from years of neglect.  In front of the chain link fence sits a time worn folding chair with webbing torn and sagging deeply.  Nine times out of ten, when I drive by, no matter the weather or time of day, there is a grizzled looking man sitting there just watching the cars go by.  He does not strike me as particularly old.  He does not appear to be hindered by a physical handicap.  He just looks time worn, or perhaps worn down.  He just sits and just watches.  For hours.  For days.  For always.  Yesterday, when I drove by, there was a second chair, just as bedraggled as the first, and in it sat another man.  The two sat a good 20 feet apart at opposite ends of the chain link yard.  Neither looking at the other.  Neither speaking.    Both timeworn and both just watching.  I wonder what they see.  What do they think about?  Why are they out there together but so apart from one another?  No conversation.  No eye contact.  No agenda so it seems.  It made me sad.  Where has time gone while the first man sat and watched life go by for the 15 years I have seen him sitting?  And where will it go for this second man who has joined the ritual?

It got me to thinking a lot about time.  Each watch face on this bracelet kept pace with time at some point.  Each was worn by someone needing to keep track of it.  Each saw time tick away.  Time...  What do we do with it?  Are we like those men, letting it pass us by without participating in any of the activities they observe?  Are we like the insanely busy corporate ladder climbers who come home one day to find their children grown and their spouse a stranger while they have been using every minute of every day to do something?  Are we somewhere in between?  How often have I found myself wishing for another hour in my day so I could get one other chore done or task completed? Too many.   Lately, I find myself wishing for those extra hours to have a little more to spend soaking in the amazing women my children are turning into, to memorize their patterns and trace their lines so when they venture from home I can conjure them right there in the room with me.  I wish for more time when my husband wasn't traveling the world to bring home the bacon and we could just sit and remember how to bask in one another.  I wish for more time to spend with loving friends, learning their lights and shadows so I can be made richer by knowing them.  Do you wish for more time?

I guess when it comes right down to it though, we can wish for it; we can let it pass us by; or we can use it.  I am going to use it!  I will take my time and memorize the wonders of my children and husband, family and friends.  I will soak in my time with them.  I will use my time each day, to talk with God and thank Him for this priceless gift of time He has given me to do this and other wondrous things with.  I will not sit alongside life and watch time go by.  I will immerse myself in it.  I will not let time wear me down or out.  I will rejoice in each minute that comes and goes and the promise that each new one can bring.  And I will take my time doing it.  What will you do with yours?

What did he do with his time?  The sparkle in his eye and the pleasure radiating from his face leads me to believe he used it well; perhaps simply, but I imagine richly....

1 comment:

Modern Donna said...

This was great. Friday night the children were with my in-laws on Spring Break. Alex and I could have been packing and cleaning as we have been doing non-stop for the last three weeks, but we decided not to. I can't tell you how nice it was to go to dinner and just enjoy each other. Seems like with moving and kids it is easy to neglect the one I love the most. But in the end it is most important to take that time and help keep the foundation in our home (wherever that might be) strong for us and the kids.