Time has always interested me. I’ve written a good deal of poetry about it, and my husband and I collect unusual and interesting clocks. I remember with fondness the pretty chiming clock I had as a young child in my bedroom. My first experience with my own timepiece came when I was given the watch I desperately wanted. I received a Timex for my eighth birthday. How happy I was. That night I climbed into the bathtub. Then I looked down at my wrist. Alas, I wasn’t used to wearing a watch and I had forgotten to take it off. It wasn’t water proof. I never did that again. Today I have more than made up for that little tragedy. My husband and I have many clocks.
One of his favorite responses when I tell him I’ll be right there is, “Take your time.” How ought I to interpret that? What does it mean to take my time? Does it mean I can be leisurely, need not hurry, use as much time as I think I need or seem to, to do, whatever I am doing? Does it mean I have some time that is all my own, that no one can wrest from my grasp? What is my time? How do I take it? What I’ve noticed is that when I reach for it, it slips from my grasp. When I plan for how much I’ll need, it does not stay where I want it. It vanishes while I am looking the other way. Worse, if I get distracted and wander off, it won’t be there at all when I come back.
Time is something we human beings invented. It was probably thought up by people who observed the natural cycles of nature and the seasons. Wanting to measure ahead, they created calendars and clocks of various types. If I wanted to know more about the origins of time, I could look it up on Wikipedia, however I don’t want to take the time to do so because it’s just more information than I need right now. I’ve written a good many poems about time, and I’ve a long-distance project to put them into a chap book one day. All I need is the time to do it. However, if I don’t take the time to do that, it won’t happen.
Sometimes I look at a photograph and wonder when it was taken? I look again, and realize that more than 30 years have passed since, and I wonder, where did that time go? I don’t remember taking that time and doing something with it, though I probably did. However, now is when I could use it. As I get older it takes me longer to do what used to take less time. I find it is important to me to recognize that there is nothing wrong with that; perhaps I am more thorough than I used to be. Or does time just go faster than it used to do? I’d like to go back and dig some of that missing time up and use it better.
As my number two daughter once pointed out: to an eight-year-old, a year is one 8th of life. To an 80-year-old, it’s one 80th. I think about that when I catch myself saying, “Where did the time go?” More than ever as the years pass, I feel that every moment is precious. I have no idea, how many are left to me, nor do I wish to know. What matters to me is to appreciate each moment for what it holds and move on to the next feeling contentment with what has passed and anticipation for what is to come. That way, I can take my time. Long or short, happy or sad, busy or relaxing, each and every moment of my life needs to be passed with awareness.