Meditation on Time and the Fall

Time is going too fast, flying through the fall, I’m still not over summer. Where did it go? I don’t think we made it over to D.W. Field park once this year. But I guess we did go to Ned’s Point a bunch for Shakespeare and swimming. And when was the last time we made it over to Ames Nowell? It’s been ages. I guess with the summer eaten up by Shakespeare club and September with the family reunion road trip… we’ve not been prioritizing adventures of late but rather trying to get into a rhythm and routine, to get some school work done. That sort of season. Hitting the books. Which mainly means staying indoors.

I’m full of plans I know are unlikely to happen, regrets for the things still undone. I’d like to get up to Salem to see the Peabody Essex exhibit on Chinese empresses of the Forbidden City. I’d like to see the pastels at the MFA and maybe the Pooh exhibit again. I’d like to get back to Mystic Seaport. Once again we haven’t done the Freedom Trail. All the regrets falling like the leaves, leaving me feeling bare and brittle. Grey and grim.

It was a glorious late fall and then one day’s heavy wind took down most of the leaves from the maple above the shed. And once that one is gone, even though there are still leaves left, it feels like the death knell of the season: doom, the end is near. I can feel the winter stretching before me, bleak and bare. I can hear the faint jingle of Christmas up ahead, the New Year rushing on and Lucy’s birthday. All too soon. I’m ready to go back to the languid pace of childhood when nothing much happened and the days stretched out like years and each year felt like a decade. Why does time rush so now? Why can’t I slow it down?

Age is creeping up on me, my hip hurts most of the time, my foot, my knee. I’ve got a hernia. My lungs make their presence knows. When I was a child I was unconscious of my body. It did what I wanted, seldom betrayed me. It was just there, just me. But now it feels more like an enemy. I want to cling to youth like a garment that I’m not ready to relinquish. Clutch it fast as if it were all that protected me from the cold. And oh I feel today that old age is going to be cold. Somehow it doesn’t look like a warm chair by the fire, baking, glowing. I see rain and chill.

Entropy, mess, clutter, the need to purge, the need to sort. All this stuff. I don’t know when it started to take over and master me instead of allowing me to master it. Things. Mess. Clutter. Boxes. Bags. Piles. Like a million millstones weighing me down. Sometimes I’d like to just torch it all. Start fresh, start small. Unless you become like a child you cannot enter the kingdom. Easier for a camel than for a rich man. I feel all too weighted by this embarrassment of riches. This box of outgrown shoes and these bins of shed clothes. Why cannot I be like the maple and fling them, profligate, at the world and let someone else do the raking? Just drop them off and make the piles someone else’s problem? Consider the oaks and the locusts they toil not neither do they spin and even the works of their hands they drop forgotten at the dying of each year, confident that they will spring again green and fresh in their due season. My limbs are too heavy.

Oh that I could fly like a bird, take wing and soar off into the warm sunset lands where the whole world smiles, nothing except the weight of my own feathers, my own light bones.

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