There is nothing in the world more irretrievable than time. Nothing, whatsoever is as precious, as fleeting, and as ongoing as the turning of a clock.
She was little once. She was small enough to fit inside my arm. The world was big to her; much bigger than anything I could compare to. Then again, the world was new. Everything was new. Literally, everything was like something brand new and out of the box.
My little girl was my little girl then.
I see new parents and I listen to them speak about their stories. I think of what they go through and listen to them tell about the rough nights; I mean the sleepless ones because “The kid” was up all night.
Time amazes me. I was there once. I was like this too and trying to figure out how to adapt to life now that it altered in size and perception. I say this in regards to size because on one hand. my entire life just shrunk down to the size of a newborn baby but yet my world was bigger now that she was born. There were so many things I was unsure of. There were so many things I was about to experience. Looking back, there are things I wish I watched for a little bit longer. There are days I wish I was a little bit more patient and people I wished I was more accepting of (and vice-versa).
I have always believed this is why people say we live and we learn, which is fine with me, so long as we learn.
Time is everything.
And once it’s gone, it’s gone.
A little more than two years back, I came to an understanding that life’s terms and circumstances will not always coincide with my plans or opinion. I looked around at my life. I looked at a few boxes I have of old family memorabilia.
I looked through the pictures of my family, some of which we from before my time. Some were from before, before, and from the long ago days of black and white photographs, both post and before the war. Some of the photographs were of my Father and my Uncle. There were photos of my Aunt too and some were of my Mother. Although, Mom was not the biggest fan of her childhood pictures, at least I still have some.
There are pictures I have from the Technicolor times, the 70’s, the wide collars, the thick ties, the paisley colors, and the post hippie era. This was from before me; this was my family before I was born, before anything changes, and before any fallouts (that I know of).
There was a time when my Mother was young. The Old man was not so old and the world was a much different place. I entered the scene on a Wednesday, September 20, 1972. The world was such a big place to me. I had so much to see and so much to plan for. Time was this ongoing, inconsequential thing because times infinite.
Of any pictures I have of me and The Old Man, I have this one, which i share from time to time of me sitting on his knee. I was in blue. The Old Man was in a yellow shirt, a polo, with a wide collar.
I have a
mental picture; better yet, I have a memory of me somewhere around the close of
that decade when The Old Man took me to the field behind the baseball field to
practice how to throw and catch a baseball. The sky has never been that blue
since. The spring has never felt this rejuvenating, and The Old Man has never
looked more like a father than this. I can see him in my mind.
As I detail this to you, I consider the way the world was. We were less informed then, which was fine. We were less at war with each other. Then again, maybe life was more intense and I was just too young and small to notice. But then again, this memory belongs to me; therefore I own the rights to this and therefore, I have the right to claim it as I recall.
The Old Man had his salt and pepper hair, which was somewhat long and somewhat shaggy, parted to the side. There was a slight wind blowing. It was warm and warm for so many reasons. We were free from winter’s grip. The ground and all the frozen things had finally thawed. The Earth upon our side of the hemisphere had begun to change color. Everything was green as life returned to life and seed grew into flower.
I have this mental picture, which I keep carefully and placed away on the files of my mind. I can see The Old Man in his lightweight, blue sweatshirt. He wore blue jeans and white sneakers. His were slightly large and slightly tinted, which was the fashion back then.
I was small; I mean, really little, in a baggy little baseball uniform and running around trying not to be afraid of the ball, learning to catch and throw with The Old Man.
There are other times like this, which I recall with the same intricate detail. One is of the time I caught my first fish from a pier at a place called Shinecock Canal. I pulled up a small flounder.
Funny though, because I had no idea there was a fish on. All I knew was The Old Man was happy. All I recall was the weather was cold. I was bundled up and covered in shirts and coats and mittens and scarfs. The pier was mainly empty. There was no one around but us. I remember how everything was so cold and amazingly quiet.
Everything was quiet until I caught my first fish. The Old Man let out a scream. He cheered for me to, “Reel’em in!” Suddenly the silence was interrupted by the roar of a proud Dad. I swear of all things; nothing warms my heart like this. The nearby seagulls upped and flew away. It was a time I keep perfectly preserved in my heart. It was perfect.
In equal competition is the time I finally hit a golf ball correctly. The Old Man and I would wake early to go to the golf course. Golf was not really my game but The Old Man loved it.
We played a game called long ball-short ball to keep the game moving quickly.
Long ball-short ball is a way to play with beginners, which means I would play the long ball (or the ball closest to the hole) and The Old Man would play the short ball, which was the ball that was farthest away.
It was the fourth hole. This was one of the longest holes on a quick 9-hole course. I stood at the tee and prepared to swing. The world was quiet. There were few to no one around. The Old Man quietly coached me. I stood at the tee and practiced my swing.
“Go ahead, kid.” coached The Old Man.
For the first and maybe the only time in my golfing history, I retracted my swing in preparation to twist around and swing through. I went all the way back and then swung.
I hit the ball up high and far. I hit the ball so well that the swing from my club could be heard and the sound of the club connecting with the ball echoed like a clap.
Suddenly a roar too place. The Old Man erupted with pride, shouting out, “What a shot!” and screaming, “Attaboy, kid!”
He was so loud that the sound of The Old Man’s cheers were backed by the echoing of flapping wings that came from a gaggle of nearby Canadian geese that flew away when the silence broke.
My Old Man worked a lot. And so do I now. It is strange to think back on the things I wished were different between me and him because now I look at me and see so many similarities.
Time is in fact a fleeting moment. Once a minute is gone it can never be reacquired or relived; it can only be remembered.I think of how I was young and wished for more memories.
And here I am now, an adult, and wishing for them still but from a different perspective.
I have always been interested in the relation of time and size. We were young once. A day was this all-day affair. And tomorrow was a given.
We had all we could want and more.
When we were small time moved slower but now that we’ve grown and now that we’ve aged, time moves without hesitation.
Time slips through our fingers and if we are not careful, we might miss out on a simple memory like say, the time my little girl caught her first sunfish. God, she was so glorious.
Time is truly precious
The only difference between a word and a threat is our investment. I propose we invest wisely. I propose we treat time as precious as it is. I propose we treat it this way because I don’t want to miss a thing or live through another moment . . . without you.