I was invited to take part in the 3.2.1 Me Challenge the other day by Patty at Campbell’s World. The rules, she said, were simple:
- Thank the person who nominated you.
- Provide two quotes on the subject you are set by that person.
- Invite three other bloggers to take part (if they so wish) in the challenge.
The subject Patty gave me was ‘time’ and I really do thank her for making me take time to think about it.
The trouble with quotes is that so many of them are misattributed these days. Over the years, these misattributions become accepted as fact, even though they cannot be substantiated. Did Hans Christian Andersen really say, “Enjoy life; there is plenty of time to be dead.” Or Einstein aver that “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” If I was going to use a quote or two, I wanted to be sure of my sources.
With my birthday fast approaching, time is a subject that has been meandering around my mind for a while. As optimistic as I generally am, I am pretty certain that this marks a point in my life where I can guarantee that I am past the halfway marker. The likelihood is that I am far beyond that and well into the home straight, or, to put it another way, I’m over the hill and going downhill fast. The thing is, that once you are set on that slippery downward slope, you inevitably begin to gather speed… and that should make you pretty much unstoppable. You might even gather enough momentum to take flight… and I rather like that idea.
We have little choice but to accept the march of time, though some fight against its effects, even though we are told that time is an illusion. Physicists have apparently now proved that time does not really exist, and that all things past, present and future have either already happened or have never happened because they are happening all at once. This is mind-boggling enough as a concept, and Einstein (allegedly) said it better, in my opinion, but it doesn’t really us move through what we at least perceive as ‘our’ days.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us,” wrote Tolkien. That works for me. It tells me that I have a choice. I can bemoan the years that have passed all too quickly or look back on a past filled with experience and forward to the next adventure. I can ‘grow old gracefully’ in the acceptable mode… or grow old as disgracefully as I choose, embracing the recycled hippy that has always been hidden by the need for corporate suits and killer heels. I can rail against the changes in my body or watch them with curiosity and fascination as Nature takes the last remnants of callow youth and shapes them into maturity.
Perhaps the biggest change that I have noticed is that I am noticing. Not just the changes in my person, but the changes in the world round me, every single day. The shifting of the colours of summer to the rich, earth-tones of autumn… the swelling and ripening of berries on branches, the lowering sun and the clarity of the stars beneath a colder moon. As I approach my own autumn, the world reminds me that it is, after all, the most glorious of seasons, when the harvest turns to gold and is gathered in.
“You can’t stop time. You can’t capture light.
You can only turn your face up and let it rain down.”
~ Kim Edwards, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter