This I Believe

Shanti - Santa Fe, New Mexico
Entered on November 7, 2006
Age Group: 65+
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This I believe. (Word count 498)

The Intimate Substance of Time.

Reflections on Aging

I believe that time has personality and a distinctive character of its own with dark and light hues. As I age time has become a lively companion that nubs and pokes me and whispers into my ears. My relationship with it is like being in a marriage; I love it and occasionally I despise it. I encounter it like a favorite old companion, who spoils or bugs me. When I read an ad in the paper for suggestions on “How to kill two hours in Las Vegas” I shudder with the obscenity of this expression. Who would truly want to kill time? I hold it in my hands like pearls, rolling them around in my palms I admire their radiance.

I am a snob about my time. I’ve become very selective how I spend it. I use it for people, activities and events that bring the most return in value. I do not want to waste the intimate substance of time. I extract the most blessing and joy out of every moment.

The expression “Time is Money” is a cliché but has an acute and urgent meaning for an unprecedented seventy million people who are approaching retirement age in America. When a friend’s account had run out last week, my heart ached. I said Good-Bye to him with tears and was reminded of my own dwindling balance.

I believe in the conscious celebration of time. In the morning I brew a mug of tea and sit on the porch bench to wake slowly to the new day. The gentle New Mexican desert wind touches my cheeks like velvet. A monarch butterfly sails by, its wings reflect the light and I think – this might be the best morning of my life.

I snuggle the mug between my palms and observe the steam emerge from the black surface of the tea. It swirls in little circles around my knuckles and evaporates into the breeze, like time that has turned into delicate substance.

Brilliant morning light strokes the purple roses and heavy sunflowers in front of me, I know about them in the biblical sense of physical intimacy; the song of their beauty vibrates through my whole body. The yellow tiger lilies lean their heads towards the sun, their petals spread like seagulls’ wings soaring in the wind and teasing the law of gravity.

I let the minutes dissolve like chocolate on my tongue and marvel how long time stretches when consciously tasted and cherished. I am aware of the fact that at any day I might only have a few precious hours left to live. Every breath carries the substance of time inside my body and releases it again when it leaves through my open lips, connecting my own chest with the rhythm of the great oceans and the tides of the moon.

I am deliciously happy.

“ I note the echo that each thing produces as it strikes my Soul.”