An interesting combination of events occurred recently that has me thinking about time and how it simply slips by, often without our noticing its passing, until something happens that brings it to our attention.
What caught my attention was this photo of my house posted by Facebook. The photo was taken 5 years ago in 2013:
From this view, you can see my neighbor’s house and the series of small wax myrtle bushes that separate our backyards. Now here are photos of my backyard taken recently:
Amazing isn’t it? We can’t even see our neighbor’s house anymore and every year we have to have those wax myrtles trimmed to keep them under control. Now I ask myself, when did this happen? I don’t remember seeing these plants growing. It’s like one day I just happened to notice they were grown. The same thing happens with children. One day we are teaching them how to ride a bike, the next thing we know, we are teaching them how to drive.
Which brings me to event number two. I was in my hobby room, seated at my art desk , and looking out my large window at the street and our little park across the way. I watched as two of the neighborhood dads began teaching their two sons how ride a bicycle. Funny thing is, neither of these little boys were born when their families moved into our neighborhood. Ours was the first house built on our street and we have only lived here for 9 years. When did they grow from being pushed in a stroller to riding a bike?
Time keeps flowing, the earth keeps turning, and babies grow from infancy to adulthood. I sometimes wonder, where did my babies go? How can it be that my sons will be 40 and 35 this year?
Steven and Kevin then
As the saying goes, time waits for no one, and that brings me to the third event. My grand kids came over to spend some time with us recently and I realized as Evelyn walked through the doorway that she was within a few inches of being as tall as I am. I remember holding both of my grandchildren when they were born, so tiny and helpless. But before I knew it they were walking and talking and, yes, riding bicycles. Evelyn will be 12 years old this year and Gavin has just turned 9. Evelyn will be a teenager next year, and 2 years from then she will be eligible to drive a car. After that it’s sweet sixteen, proms and off to college.
I remember the year I turned sixty, thinking, how did I get here? How can I be sixty? Well, now I’m halfway through that decade and staring seventy in the face. There is a song by Simon and Garfunkel entitled Old Friends and one of the lines from the song is Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly? How terribly strange to be seventy. This song was written in 1968, and I couldn’t Imagine being seventy then and I am having a hard time imagining it now.
So where does this leave us? I guess it can leave us watching time go by, or making the most of whatever time we have – you know- stopping to smell the roses, watching the wax myrtles grow, learning something new (Que pasa?), riding a bike for the sheer pleasure of feeling the wind on our faces, playing with the grandkids… or maybe just sitting on a park bench quietly, grateful to be seventy.