I can’t help but notice the deliriously ignorant approach my 3-year-old takes towards time. Being 41, even in the contemporary “40 is the new 30” mentality, I am far right on the bell curve – perhaps several standard deviations from the average age an adult human is a parent to someone 39 months of age. Most of my friends, even the “smart” ones (just kidding) have pre-teens, tweens or even teenagers. I have a very close friend that is a grand-uncle. Yikes!!!!
Back to time…..
I guess the fascination rests on two things I noticed today playing catch in the pool with Fisher.
First of all, is that these little folks really do live in the “Now”. We talk about living in the “Now” all the time. But these little people really do. Just stop and watch and listen: “I want to go to McDonald’s”, “I have to go potty”, “I want to go to the beach”, “I am hot”, “I am tired”, ” Are we there yet?” Rhetorically inscribed in all of these declarations (and questions) is literally The Power of Now. But are they all selfish comments from a toddler? Or the gargantuan chants of a Buddha? In the now…. Interesting thing to ponder. What is the opposite of living in The Now? Responsibility? A stop watch? Calendars? 9-5??? Who said Time is a Healer??? Time is killing us….
Another observation, a confirming observation because this is something I have thought about for a long time, is that, as Einstein confirmed and proved – Time is truly relevant. At what age do we stop wishing we are older, wishing we are younger and as I recently did, take out a calculator and figure out how many hours I (statistically speaking, on average) have left to live??? It has taken exactly one hour and 17 minutes for my Fisher to eat lunch (and he still isn’t finished) – a rather large percentage of my statistical life. It is 85 degrees outside and not a cloud in the sky. And now it is nap time. He doesn’t care because he has x number of perfect days left to enjoy. I have far less.
But, every day with Fisher is a perfect day and I just wish time could stop. Time, please stand still or at the very least….take a freaking break once in a while….Jeez, some of of us are trying to live around here…………..
This morning I pulled into my company’s parking lot and stopped the car and began to pray. This “Parking Lot Prayer” is a new practice I recently started mainly since embarking on “in11months”. In this new morning tradition, I usually ask God to give me strength to get through the day at this job in which I work in your typical Dilbert-esque cubicle world with no windows (added bonus – there is also an actual factory attached!). In addition, I ask him to give me guidance so that I can find and follow my passion, be a better person and lead a better life. Today I specifically said, “God, give guidance so that I may be nearer to you, so that the work that consumes me puts me with you at all times and doesn’t separate us.” Referring to the fact that I have to go inside this building with no windows all day long without any connection whatsoever with the natural world and rendering me nearly spiritually impotent. Just as I uttered that request, everything went kind of dead for a second and all I could hear was the sound of the huge fan exhaust system that blows the fumes of chemicals from our plant outside and then suddenly out of nowhere I heard the chirps of hundreds of birds, beautiful little chirps not distinguishable but certainly some type of shorebirds. I felt a warm sensation come over my body like static electricity and a voice inside my head said “Like this? Do you want to hear this? Listen to the birds singing? Do you want to listen to this?” “Yes!, yes!!!, yes!!!!! of course!!!!,” I said out loud. This is exactly what I want to be listening to and experiencing. And the first thing I thought of was that I AM a photographer. Why couldn’t I get back into photography…nature photography….and that way I could be “working” and spending time with God. Then, all of a sudden the sound of the beautiful chirps surrendered and the obnoxious hum of industry hustled its way back into my conscience. But on my way into the building as I was fumbling for the key fob for the back door of the building, I once again gave one last sigh and asked God for strength to get me through the day. And then from nowhere the chirps were summoned and I looked up into the sky and there they were. A whole flock of birds I do not commonly see…in fact I had to look them up and I believe they were Swallow-tailed Kites. Still not sure…but they were magnificent and they flow over me about 50 feet and sang their song – which by the way I believe most people would have thought sounded more like a bunch of angry shrills from disgruntled seagulls. But these were not common seagulls and to me they were operatic.
Well, this “experience” doesn’t end here….
Later in the morning I had to research something and pulled up Google and I couldn’t believe my eyes!!! Google’s logo (Google Doodle) today was an image of a group of American birds all perched on branches.
Today, as it turns out is John James Audubon’s birthday!!! Audubon was a French-American ornithologist who spent much of his life in Pennsylvania (very close to where I grew up in Pennsylvania!!!!), studying birds extensively and creating original drawings of his field observations. How weird………..
See: http://www.audubon.org for more information.
I owned a Porsche 911 and BMWs. I have done a lot of things, thrilling things. I have nice clothes. Eaten in very nice restaurants. The marginal return on all of these material things is so ephemeral, eventually, when in excess, just leads to a big life draining void. A two hour walk on the beach yesterday was just about one of the greatest and most relaxing and fulfilling things ever. I still can’t stop thinking about it. Could have been the company, but the sound of the waves, the warmth of the sun, the shore birds chirping, the grasses swishing…whomever says you can’t hear God speaking? Take a walk on a beach and listen. God is so phenomenally extensive, so verbose, his conversation is loud and broad yet so soft and delicate….purely infinite in all directions. Its a song, a conversation an experience… And it is all yours for free!!!
Check out Honeymoon Island State Park