After I’d announced my retirement a few years back, a co-worker made a chain out of paper clips (one for each remaining day at work) and hung it from a hook on the back of the door to my office. “Remove one every day,” she said.
Often, I find myself wondering what events might take place in any given interval of time. You might think I’ve gone around the bend, but this exact thought occurred to me the other day when I opened a new box of 60 kitchen trash can liners. What will happen between now and the next time I need a new box? In my family, my community, my country, the world?
I’ll ask myself this same question again in a few weeks when I undress our Christmas tree and carefully wrap each ornament in tissue paper and pack it away. What will the new year bring us?
I’d like to share a poem that was written by my dear friend Muriel Ellis in 1985. It seems particularly poignant now.
Time, my enemy Ever faster fleeing Taking with it youth and friends Time the thief of life Unforgiving time that's wasted Lost forever No more time. Time, my friend Healer Blunter of sharp edge of grief Dimmer of humiliation Time that frees from bonds of childhood Setting free to go and grow. Time, my treasure Spend or lose it Hoard it never Time won't wait.
Muriel celebrated her 96th birthday before she left this world. Her words of wisdom (and there were many!) are timeless.