Do you ever think about time? The way it works? The way it folds around us, falls behind us, stretches out before us in unimaginable length?
I keep a book journal. I started it at my husband's encouragement because I'm a "voracious reader"...I gulp down books like Gatorade at the end of a marathon... And then I say, "I just read the greatest book!" And the person to whom I'm talking says, "Oh? What was it about?" And then I'm like, "Ummmmm...." So now I keep a book journal and I write down the date I started, the date I finished and quotes from the books I read that jump out at me, that I don't want to forget.
So this morning, I finished a book: "Today will be different" by Maria Semple. And wrote today's date in my book journal along with the book I am starting today: "The atomic weight of love" by Elizabeth Church. And I thought...
Anything could happen between now and the time I finish this book.....
Somehow the expanse of time occurred to me as I wrote down a simple date and title and author. Today is April 14th, 2017. Today I start a new book. I will heat up leftover stir fry for dinner. I'll drink some coffee. I'll look at my children who lay sprawled on my bed, even as I type this, waiting to have my attention...or a turn at my computer...hard to tell which. And in a week or so, I'll write a new date down when I finish this book with the brick red hardcover.
What will have happened between now and then?
Time just stretches out and who knows what will fill it...
Sometimes when I'm walking, I imagine myself at 21 or 26 and I pretend I'm getting the opportunity to see what my life is like in the future.
Here you are at 41, I say to myself. And I look at my reflection in the mirror, at my surroundings, imagining realizing I'm in school now getting a PhD, hearing stories about my career, serving youth with disabilities. And I come to my house and with anticipation, open the door. Me at 26 is wondering: What will I find inside my life?
And I'm always so grateful for what I find there. And me at 26 zips back into my 41 year old self. And I look up now as Tad walks in the room to ask what I'm typing, my kids are rolling around having a ridiculous argument on my bed. It's a nice exercise in gratitude.
I wonder what I might remember about this time, when I'm 57 or 64 and looking back again and looking forward. I wonder by then if I'll be better at staying in one place.... It's funny to imagine that time out there, just waiting for me. However many books I read later. Stretching out and expanding and contracting. Waiting to be reached only to be behind me again.