I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately. And I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s later than we think.
“And what is so rare as a day in June?” The answer to James Russell Lowell’s query is, “Nothing.”
Perfect days seem to be sequestered in this glorious month.
I love summer. It is a mysterious season of the year, and seems to pass at its own pace. It is saturated with sweet memories and sensory sensations. It has its own rites and rituals.
“Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how;
Everything is happy now,…
And the eyes forget the tears they have shed,
The heart forgets its sorrow and ache;…”
I’m not so sure the heart is stricken with cardiac alzheimers, but it does experience blessed memory loss, and for a while, we are out of sync with the rigid rhythm of the rest of the year, when, like working a Rubik’s Cube, we frantically try to get all the dates and time slots of our routine to align.
Summer heals. It arrives with regularity thanks to millennia of predictable established pattern. It is packed with solar endorphins, and we all become sunshine junkies. It is wise to invest its moments well.
But it’s August. And I am detecting harbingers of fall, even though not a single leaf has changed its color. Nothing tangible. But it’s getting late early, which makes me think that time is more a psychological phenomenon than an immutable force of nature.
The days are still long and hot. Morning is not at 7…more like 6:15.
My grandkids’ feet are calloused and brown from going barefoot and feral, and their sun-brilliant hair is worthy of shampoo commercials.
Summer used to be right around the corner. All the ads were advising us to get liposuction so we’d be bikini-ready.
But we have summited summer. Corner fruit stands overflow with produce that only last week were spring blossoms. Mid-summer boredom has settled in with a vengeance, and the kids are reduced to making blanket angels on my bed like inebriated revelers. The other day, Abram, channeling his inner adolescent, chased his brother with a broom full of cobwebs as Josh hollered, “Don’t tase me, Bro!” I was forced to make them sign a pact of non-aggression. Weary mothers of restless children form support groups and intentionally addict their offspring to “Candy Crush” just to get a few minutes respite…and in moments of monotonous mind-numb, consider intentionally anesthetizing the children with Twinkie-induced stupors.
Where does the time go? Nostalgia strikes early and often. Time seems scarce. I find myself humming autumnal tunes with nostalgic lyrics like “As time goes by,” and “These precious days I’ll spend with you.”
I want to hug my little tribe to my bosom. (In the total absence of cleavage, I must be careful they don’t concuss on my sternum.)
Each day surrenders a minute or two of light to the earth’s orbital and narcissistic shift. And while it is hardly perceptible, I do not relinquish them willingly.
The last float of the Pioneer Day parade, of course, ushers in the Christmas Season, and soon winter will once again take up residency with the brutality of the Roman coliseum.
Perhaps the internal-timing device in my brain is marking pockets of experience that imprint on my mind and heart, causing me to reminisce even as new memories are created.
Perhaps the older I get, the faster time passes. I don’t know. The days dwindle down to a precious few. I suppose the universe organizes itself and corrects itself, in keeping with ancient symmetry. Summer is comprised of perfect days, and autumn of nostalgia.
I do know that our grandkids are growing up too fast. Tempus fugit. It really is later than I thought. When I need to gauge the passage of time, I just hold up my arms and let the skin fall in crepey folds and pool in the crook of my elbows. I suppose if I counted the folds, it would correctly reflect the amount of time that has passed.
At dinner on Sunday, Abram and Josh wanted to try on their grandpa’s shoes for size. They needed new ones for church. Surprisingly, the shoes fit just about perfectly…although there is still room to grow.
I advised the boys not to just wear the shoes – fill them.
They will – eventually – as time goes by.