I was under the mistaken impression that time was somehow speeding up. Or that pieces were shifting around, flinging themselves forward or backward. It remains the most logical explanation for this ungainly preponderance of Monday mornings.
But something else has happened. The past has started swimming along with the present. Maybe it’s always done that, but like an errant fish, it seems to be leaping streams here and there. So I am suddenly caught out of the moment – neither here nor there… But I’ll get a funny sense of smell or taste or rattling somewhere in the back of my mind that is so familiar.
Of course this happens with all of us all the time. We pick up an old family album and memories come flooding back, things we haven’t thought of in years. But something is distinctly odd. It’s more than that. Somehow the streams, that maybe all run parallel and don’t interfere with each other, are all getting stirred up at once.
So my sister and I are suddenly eight and ten again, but there I am at twenty one and at thirty four. It’s the people and the pictures and the memories and the curiosity and the wondering and the immersing in the then and playing with the what-ifs and if-0nlys. And all the stories… every little thing has a story.
Though I’ve never been really out of touch, Facebook has brought me a lot closer to my friends from university. We’ve been posting photos and sharing stories, laughing, remembering. It’s so much more vivid when it’s shared, more deeply felt. I look at a photo of myself at nineteen and I’m breathless. I honestly don’t have any, so they are such a shock – someone I used to be, who wouldn’t recognise the person she’s become – or maybe she would – looking at me from that other time.
I dreamt last night that my younger daughter was small again – and she wanted to play but I had too much work to do. And when I was finished for the day, I was pulling her home on her old blue sled through mountains of snow and she wanted me to stop and make a snowman with her – and I sighed and said I was too tired to play.
It must be time to stop and listen to what time is trying to tell me. It’s being terribly persistent. Why am I not listening? I am not old. I am not young. I still have choices. I still have time!
My mother was a character. I have always felt I don’t quite measure up to her, though I have been infinitely better behaved. She was proud of me. And would be even moreso now. I sure wish she was around so I could ask her about this time problem, though. She died at 71 – far too young, but she’d squeezed in a couple of lifetimes worth of living. Here is a photo of her at 62. It’s my favourite. Timeless.