I glanced at my calendar the other day and it took me a moment to register what was wrong with the picture. It was still stuck on February.
It’s kind of how I feel this year — behind.
As with most things, I’m blaming the weather. First, it rushed right over spring — that gentle, transitional season where we unfurl from winter hibernation, unpack lighter clothes and plan our gardens. All of a sudden, it was hot and sunny and a mad dash to unearth last year’s sunscreen and sandals. Then, as quickly as it started, the summer broil simmered down to what meteorologists are calling a Goldilocks summer; not too hot, not too cold.
It feels like it should only be May, my subconscious obviously thinks it’s still February, but somehow it’s already August. Before you know it, kids will be trudging off to school again.
I agree with my subconscious — we should flip the pages of the calendar back to February.
Friends and family agree, this summer has gone by way too fast. Time feels like a loose kite fluttering just out of reach; we try to grasp it but it just keeps flying.
But, we’ve had this conversation before, haven’t we? Weeks, years, holiday trips — they’re never quite long enough and there’s often that sense of disappointment at not accomplishing everything you wanted to do. There’s just never enough time, and the pages of the calendar keep on changing.
One of the things I did do this summer was attend a play at Armstrong’s Caravan Farm Theatre. It was Our Town, a classic play by Thornton Wilder. The play follows the humble people and goings-on of a small town not unlike Armstrong and is narrated by an all-knowing stage manager.
I bring it up because one of main themes of the play is the transience of human life and the passing of time. The play is made up of simple, seemingly mundane events: breakfasts, kids running off to school, mothers picking beans in the garden. Through it all, the characters are oblivious to the minute details of their daily lives.
It’s not until Act Three, a surreal, metaphysical scene in which many of the townsfolk have died and are addressing the audience from their graves that they realize everything they took for granted. They chastise the living for being so blind to what they have and for not appreciating daily life as it unfolds.
“They don’t understand, do they?” comments one of the dead.
It might all sound a bit dramatic, but it made me think. We can’t turn back the calendar, and we can’t tether time.
It’s easy to feel yourself sinking into the quicksand of hindsight, regretting all the things you didn’t have time to do. At the same time, spending too much time envisioning the future, counting the days and the weeks to that event marked on the calendar, can leave us oblivious to what’s happening around us. I think where I’m going to try to be a little more is right in the middle. In the present.
— Charlotte Helston is the Vernon reporter for iNFOnews.ca.
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