Time is a funny thing. Back in July I was feeling totally in control and confident, with six Christmas presents already purchased, that I would have the holiday frenzy totally under control. Then Thanksgiving landed in my lap and the scurry of buying, wrapping, baking and mailing descended upon me like the holiday tornado unrelentingly does. Where did those months from July to November flee?
In 1905 Einstein broached his great theory of relativity. Einstein’s theory purports that the universe has three space dimensions and one time dimension. Time is seemingly a unique critter. To this writer it is also a darn elusive culprit!
According to Einstein, no place in the universe is completely stationary; hence, we can’t really get a fix on a “single moment in time.” We may think we are slouching on our couch, but we are on a planet that is spinning at 1,000 miles per hour; moving around the sun at the rate of 66,600 miles per hour; in a solar system moving at 420,000 miles per hour around our galactic core. In essence, any reference point we have is always in a constant state of flux in relation to those other worlds out there with their ETs.
Now, I do have one consternation about all of this. According to what I vaguely understand of the physics of all this, supposedly if you and I were to synchronize our watches, we would find out that time slows down the faster one accelerates. According to one Internet article, if I were to stay on the ground and you were to fly around the world a few times; upon landing, your watch and mine will no longer show the same time. Your watch will reflect a time earlier (by a billionth of a second or so) than mine!
Times slows the faster we accelerate? Excuse me! If this is the case, I must live in a different universe than all my earthly neighbors. July evaporates into November; the older I get the faster the days whiz by, and the more accelerated I try to throttle through my day, the blink of an eye causes the hours to turn to nano-seconds. My grandsons are 8 and 15 and I can’t figure out where the moments disappeared to. I barely meet one deadline and another is flashing before me.
Thank heavens for road runners and lizards in my life.
As I was scurrying through Easter morning trying to get my husband off to the airport, I buzzed into my sunroom and was stopped in my tracks. The sun had risen (but I had not noticed the sunrise), my favorite of all holidays had dawned (but I had not relished it’s arrival), the day was half gone (but I had not basked in a single moment) … then, as I came into the sunroom, there within an arm’s length, standing on the juniper outside my window, was a roadrunner — head cocked watching me.
It was as if he was saying “Stop. Slow down. Do you see that tasty quail over there? I am letting you take his notice and enjoy his beauty. And don’t overlook the beautiful Anna’s hummer feeding at your window. And, of course, notice me for I visit less and less often with all the human chaos surrounding this place.”
The lizards are out basking, the toad in our yard has come out of hibernation, my lemons (still so sorely neglected hanging on my tree) are the size of grapefruits. The ice plant is showing its fuchsia pink blossoms, the bear-paw poppies abound (though at risk of eradication).
The grandkids are maturing into adulthood. The kids are now nearing middle age. Hubby and I are the keepers of the heirlooms, trying to decide how to downsize and determine who of the “next generation” to pass precious items along to.
The Bible says that one day in God’s time is a thousand years in man’s time. I take that to mean, as we get older and older, time keeps going faster. Maybe the contradiction between time seeming to go faster as I age can be aligned with the physics of time slowing as we accelerate by the thought that (hopefully) as we age, we become smarter, wiser, more efficient.
Time flies by with our accomplishments. Yet, time seems to slow down, life becomes calmer and more appreciated, as we learn to set our priorities straight: to value family, nature, the essential of charity, kindness, peace and harmony as the truly important values in life.
Time is based on perspective and perspective is seeing life from a distance. Perspective changes depending on where we are in our life and from our vantage point. Whether we perceive an event as whizzing by or taking forever is often dependent upon where in the time continuum we stand.
But one thing is for certain, as the Spirit of Christmas Present in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” teaches, “There is never enough time to do or so say all of the things that we would wish. The thing to do is do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short and suddenly you’re not there anymore.”
Cat Trico has been a resident of Boulder City since 2003 and is a past president of the Senior Center and co-founder of the Decker Lake Wetlands Preserve. As an author and editor, she contributed to “Rights, Responsibilities, and Relationships” for youth. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.