Isn’t it funny how time works? There are days that move slowly, and years that fly by quickly. Minutes that take forever, and days you only wish could do just that.
It is hard to fathom that time, itself, is a man-made concept. We created the clock, the calendar, the sun-dial. However, it’s the sun and the moon that create day and night, though we technically are the ones who named them such. The tides rise and fall with the moon, and the seasons change with the distance the sun is from the earth.
I tend to think about a world where time was not developed – where we can sleep when our bodies tell us to sleep (not our alarm clocks), and we can permit ourselves the proper amount of time our bodies and minds feel to task the day, instead of the clock. There are days in this world where I feel rushed, and days where I feel sluggish when I should be picking up my own pace.
And then, there’s that whole concept of wishing we could reverse time. When we lose a loved one. When we say the wrong thing to someone important to us. When we make a grave error in our work or assignments. Or when we just want time to stop – to stand still altogether.
Dates on calendars, alarms set, birthdays and anniversaries marked; time is important to us.
We put a lot of power into the concept of time. And yet, we beg for it to bend to our whims.
Currently, I am wishing time would hurry up. It’s nearly 4 o’clock, and this day has been sluggishly productive. And at the same time, knowing our community has suffered the loss of one of our most wonderful women, I keep stopping during this sluggish day to ask Father Time to go back to yesterday in hopes this beautiful woman can correct her driving mistake and stay alive.
Time doesn’t work like that.
So, I have to sit here twiddling my thumbs at work while my friend’s body slowly decomposes in a cooler somewhere in Minnesota while they figure out what and how things went wrong for her. Her time was up. I like to think every minute she spent here, she steeped her minutes and hours and moments with love and kindness and respect for time. She knew quite well that we are all working against the clock. That every moment counts. That within the minutes or hours that drag, those moments that move so quickly are the ones worth holding on to.
I’ve gotten caught crying twice today. Both times I lied, saying I’d just yawned from being tired. My face is a terrible liar when it comes to crying. My cheeks and nose go red, my eyes get puffy and glazed, my lips puff out, and I can’t catch a breath worth a damn. My hands shake, my nose runs, and because of the ample amount of warm salt water leaking from my eyes, my glasses get foggy.
Time is the only thing that will help these tears to dry out. As the moments in my mind with my friend wash over me like waves on a rough sea (or perhaps tears down my cheeks), I am begging for more time, more moments, more opportunities to see her smile, to hear her laugh, to listen to her wisdom.
But that’s not how it works.
All any of us will have, including her husband, her daughter, her son, her grandchildren, are those lapses of neurons who evoke images of her face, wispy recollections of her voice, the way she always touched your shoulder to greet you even if you were a stranger. Shadows of time catalogued in with our current days and schedules and moments.
Time is always of the essence. Beat the clock. A month of Sundays. Killing time. Once in a blue moon. Working against the clock. Doing time. Watching the clock. Crunch time. Time flies. Just in the nick of time. Time is money. For the time being.
We have so many idioms for time. But not a single one will bring you back, Steph.
I’m sorry your time was up.