AN OBSERVATION ON TIME


An Observation on Time?
Wow, you might say. Time? Really? Any other loftier subjects on which to comment?
Well, I have to specify; this is more about personal time. Human time. How we measure ourselves. Still pretty lofty, but manageable.
This Saturday, April Seventh, I turn forty. Forty. It seems strange to type. It sounds weird in my mouth when I say it. Forty. But there it is. I will be forty years old this Saturday.
Time, in human terms, usually comes to a head when talking about our age. Some revolt against it, as if they were warriors of their youth, some embrace it with quiet dignity, and some cower in the darkness of their very being; scared of what end might be near at hand.
However, there are usually two types of people when it comes to birthdays: those who believe that birthdays are milestones -important to the core- that life can be measured by each birthday; the things accomplished –the things you’ve acquired at each new Far Side calendar you’ve bought. And there are those who believe dates on calendars are arbitrary; that March and August and October are human inventions, and that the present moment is the most important time, because the present is all that is truly real.
Lately, I’ve melded the two camps. Sure, it is true that dates are mostly human measurements upon a nearly immeasurable concept, but there is the other truth –hard to conceptualize, but always there; ticking away… there is a universal clock. Time does pass.
The Earth makes revolutions around the Sun. Rivers cut through rock. Leaves color and fall. The Human animal does age. The hair grays (in my case thins and disappears). The skin wrinkles. The memory fades. Faces become unfamiliar. Names are forgotten. Bones ache. Loved ones die.
Yes, I do measure time in birthdays, but I don’t measure my life in birthdays. I don’t have some of the things that others have and I have more things than others have, but I don’t measure my life in things. I’ve never climbed Mount Everest, but I’ve seen some beautiful heights. I’ve never built a house, but I’ve written a song. I’ve never been to California, but I’ve walked a winding road in Spain. I don’t measure my life in accomplishments.
What I have done, so far, is laughed –almost every day; deep, soul lifting laughs. I’ve cried –necessary tears and unnecessary tears; sympathetic and empathetic; quick as the blink of an eye and as long as an Adirondack winter. For those moments, I am happy to measure my life. I’ve got more of those to give.
Both laughs and tears, I’m sure will be had, when the first person wishes me a “Happy Fortieth Birthday!” Did someone just say forty? Ugh… Where has all the time gone?

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