Marking Time

Image by Nile / Pixabay

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
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.

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