Imagine, for a moment, that we are sitting on a beach or up a mountain on a beautiful summer’s evening. We are watching the stars, imperceptibly moving across the sky as the night becomes day. How slowly the time moves, how calm we feel!
Now, it’s 8.30 am on a weekday morning. We have to be at school in half an hour and that same time which stretched endlessly has suddenly shrunk to no time at all. The traffic is busy, the children are never ready when you want them to be and you’re bound to have forgotten something. How does this happen?
The school summer holidays are nearly over here in England. It’s the last day of August. Almost seven weeks have passed by and where has that time gone? What have we done with all of those hours? Well, in our case we’ve visited friends, had a some time away, done some jobs around the house, walked the dog, had days and evenings out and most of all, had a rest. I have been grateful for the slowness of the mornings and for not having to battle with the rush hour traffic. I have been grateful for the difference in the amount of washing and ironing that I have had to do. I have been grateful to be able to stop clock watching, ready to abandon whatever I am doing to do the school run instead. Most of all, I have been grateful for not feeling as if I am constantly late.
I know that time is a human concept, invented to make to easier for us to live with one another in societies which have grown busier over the centuries. What I have never understood, though, is how despite the regularity of the hours, time seems to be flexible, like a rubber band or piece of Plasticine, stretching out and then snapping back to make an apparent mockery of those minutes etched on the clock face. Why does time fly when you’re having fun and last interminably when you’re not? Why do we never have enough hours in the day when we’ve always got the same number, no matter what day it is?
My plan for today is to try to organise the next few days and week so that we’re not constantly running late, forgetting things and squeezing too much into too short a time. I’ve said before that September always feels like the start of a new year, and my resolution for this one is to make it until the official New Year in January without feeling that time was invented to make me feel like a hamster on a wheel which never stops. Who knows if I’ll manage it (and you know that I’ll keep you posted!) but if there are a few moments along the way to watch the stars, then I think I might just make it.