Saturday, January 7, 2017

Photo a Day: Time

"Time keeps on tickin', tickin', tickin' into the future..." Those of you of a certain age will remember those lyrics from Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like an Eagle." When I first heard that song back in 1976, when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I didn't really "get" it. I mean, I knew that time was passing, but it wasn't passing fast enough for me. I wanted time to go by so I could get to do cool stuff like staying up until 8 o'clock, or making my own dinner, or drinking soda whenever I wanted. I couldn't WAIT for time to tick into the future.

But 40 or so years later, that time is ticking into the future a little more quickly than I'd like. Instead of wanting to push it forward, I'd like to be able to hold it back. I'd like to stay close enough to the past to both remember and enjoy it. I'd like to hang on to the present for a while longer, to really embrace it and appreciate it. I'm perfectly content to wait for that future for quite some time.

But time keeps on tickin', tickin', tickin' into the future.

This beautiful grandfather clock stands in my living room. Appropriately enough, it used to belong to my father-in-law, my children's grandfather. It bears a small plaque with his name and the name and logo of the fraternity that he and my husband are members of, Sigma Phi Epsilon. It both looks and sounds beautiful.

I love that I can hear it from my bedroom. Without opening my eyes, I can count its chimes and know whether I need to get up or whether I can roll over and go back to sleep for a little (or a long) while. Even when I'm struggling to sleep and its chimes remind me of exactly how long I've been wide awake, there's something relaxing and comforting about its sound. It's almost like a soothing voice telling me that it's still night, there's still time to sleep. Or that it's finally day and the long sleepless night is over and I can stop tossing and turning and start my day.

It also reminds me that the generation that came before me is coming to the end of their time and handing me the gauntlet. My generation is now the one in charge, making decisions that will direct the course of the world around us. My generation is shaping the lives of the generation that will come after us, who will in their own time direct the course of the world, whether that be to continue our legacy or to try to correct it. I can picture this clock standing in my in-laws' home, and I can imagine it standing in one of my children's homes. It reminds me of the passage of decades, years, months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds.

It reminds me that time keeps on tickin', tickin', tickin' into the future...


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