“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.” ~ Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper
My 42nd year of life crept on me a few weeks ago. As was my wish, there was no fanfare and no bright lights. But the people who mean the most to me celebrated my life by surrounding me with their love and warmth.
It was all that I wanted.
It’s difficult to not assess our life without thinking about the years and time that pass us. When I met with old friends from my kung fu school a few weeks ago, I was made aware of the fact that it had been nearly a decade since we all had trained together formally. When I realized that my birthday had come and gone, I could not ignore the fact that I am aging and that the time for certain events in my life might be coming to an end soon. And when I received the news from my friend C that her mom unexpectedly passed away in her sleep, I had to face the realization that the last time I had seen her mother was when she attended my own sister’s funeral in 2000. It had been thirteen years since I had seen her, and this past Friday, I saw her again for the last time, at her funeral.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, the clock keeps ticking. Man may be the only creature that keeps time, but nature does as well. That is why there are changes in the seasons — Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. The seasons represent the time for rebirth, growth, death and rest. Nature may not keep a clock, but it still knows that there is a time, and a season for everything.