My dad created this drawing. It features time pieces that belonged to my great grandparents and my dad’s own hour glass. The time on each of the time pieces is set to the of my great grandparent’s deaths and his hour glass is still running. It’s a very symbolic drawing and it came bursting into my brain yesterday like firecrackers set off on July 5th (yes 5th, not 4th).
During the first five or so years of my life, I didn’t measure time because I didn’t understand it. Gradually, understanding found me. Time mutated into the passing of each school grade and the accompanying holidays and summer breaks. Once I had children of my own, my concept of time was swallowed whole by their milestones and activities. Now that they’ve gone off to college and started lives of their own I’m kind of blank.
Yesterday, I went to the dentist for my 6 month teeth cleaning. The dental hygienist asked, “What’s new with you?” I said, “Absolutely nothing. It seems like it’s always either Monday, Friday, or time for my 6-month teeth cleaning.” It dawned on me that I’ve lost my own personal meaning for time. As the dental hygienist began scraping off 6 months of mundane plaque, I thought of this drawing. I wondered. How did my great grandparents mark time? They were farmers and worked at a level that is beyond my comprehension. I doubt either one of them ever said, “THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY” or “ewww….it’s Monday again.” They worked every day. Vacations didn’t exist. For some reason this bothers me. I suddenly feel an urgency to change my perspective of time if for no other reason than to honor my great grandparents.