“Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.” (Author unknown)
Coffee cup in hand, a dark chocolate wafer in my mouth, I step outside onto the deck. For a fleeting moment my memory takes me back to when I was a little girl. My nose was pressed against the windowpane in the small house I grew up in. I was ill and couldn’t go outside. It had been a beautiful sunny day. The tall grass speckled with wild flowers seemed to wave to me, beckoning me to come out to play. Just as the scene before me is beckoning to me now, I want to play and frolic in the fields. I want to feel the grass slap my legs as I chase butterflies; I want to taste the wild strawberries sweetened by the sun’s heat.
I take another sip of coffee; the chocolate is now a delicious memory on my tongue as I observe a single wild rose growing in a heap of overgrown brush. Still in my reverie, I remember picking wild roses that grew on the south side of our neighbor’s farmhouse.
It was 1950’s something; wild roses, a dazzling red and pink sighed in the heated breeze infusing the air with perfume, an essence that imprints itself forever in one’s soul. I can still smell them as my sister and I picked the blooms and placed them in our hair then hitched up the side of our skirts where we fastened two more roses. We twirled about thinking ourselves as little princesses.
I remember so clearly how it felt to raise our arms to the warm sun, twirling about, humming some indefinable tune as fragrant breezes spun it’s magic around us. We looked like gypsy children with our golden arms and legs, twirling and dancing in that patch of sun. The magic of abandonment and giddy feeling of unbridled joy spun around us like strings of sugar on cotton candy.
I sigh… my coffee’s cold; I step back into the house. It’s 2013. I go into the bathroom to wash my hands. I look up and see my reflection in the mirror. I try to see the young girl in me. For a moment I felt silly when I twirled around, my arms in the air, my blue gingham housecoat billowing around me as I hum an old tune. If someone saw me they would think I was crazy.
A stanza from Wordsworth’s poem “Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” suddenly came to mind. “What though the radiance which was once so bright, be now forever taken from my sight, though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; we will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind…”
Time is that illusive gift that you can’t hold on to. It’s a mirage of dreams and childhood laughter; love and lost loves; sorrow and joy that echoes through the years. The passage of time quickens as we age, accelerating with speed like the last grains of sand in an hourglass. With age, time has also given us a wonderful wisdom and insight when one comes in tune with their surroundings, their inner being, and their soul.
The birds still sing the same song, the flowers have the same scent, warm breezes still whisper over the fields and through the trees. All these things are timeless. We should all find that patch of sun, lift our arms to the sky and twirl around and let it’s warmth envelope us and carry us away to that magic place of unbridled joy.