Not a “Ha Ha” funny thing, but an “odd” funny thing.
I’ve heard it called the Great Equalizer.
Just think about it. It really is — the Great Equalizer. Time doesn’t care if you are rich or beautiful or brilliant or kind or creative. Time just keeps on going ... and going and going and going. You can’t save it up for sometime in the future like money in the bank. You can’t relive a day or hour or even a second. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
Depending upon which Internet site you visit, did you know there are somewhere between 24 and 40 different time zones?
The first time zone, as we know it today, started in 1847 in Great Britain and the last country to adopt a uniform time zone was Nepal in 1986.
And, did you know that time “starts” at the 180th meridian in the Pacific Ocean, part of which also is the International Date Line? This fact played a major — the key — role, actually, in Jules Verne’s “Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours” or “Around the World in 80 Days” novel, allowing Phileas Fogg of London to win his £20,000 bet. If you haven’t read it, you really, really should. It’s one of the greatest books of all time.
Ah yes, back to time — real time — the time most people don’t give much time to, according to my limited, but timely, observations.
I was, however, thinking about time the other day.
My mom lives in St. Louis and I have to remember that it is an hour earlier there, especially in the morning.
When it is 8 a.m. here, it’s only 7 a.m. there, and at that time of the day that can make a big difference. On Saturday morning it can really become an issue. I’m usually ready to start running errands but I feel I have to wait so I can call my mom without dragging her out of bed of a morning.
Oh, that reminds me. I have the feeling, but my mom says “no,” that Saturday morning is the comfortable time, fitting time for me to call her, right before one of my cousins picks her up to go grocery shopping. You see, my mom doesn’t have a car. Hasn’t had one in decades, but that’s another story.
Anyway, my mom seems to have a “timing” Saturday morning. A call from me fits, it seems, at that time and that day of the week. Then grocery shopping, as I already mentioned, and then, well, some sort of washing or cleaning.
Do any of you folks remember when timing was all important when it came to household chores?
Sunday, moms would cook food for the week.
Monday might have been washing day.
Wednesday, tending to the vegetable garden?
Thursday, dusting and cleaning the floors or vacuuming the carpets?
Friday, nope, no resting, maybe sewing or mending.
And Saturday, of course, is grocery shopping.
Whew! They sure didn’t have time to think about time or think about much of anything else!
That makes me wonder, if you don’t think about time does it still exist?
And what about the notion that time sometimes moves slowly and sometimes it moves quickly?
Is it possible that there is some sort of earthly time warps involved that we earthlings kinda fall through every now and then without realizing it?
Well, I don’t know but the questions are intriguing.
But here’s another “question” that is more incomprehensible to me.
I don’t understand mom’s timing. It floors me that even though I might call her at 10 a.m. my time, she still hasn’t even put the coffee on yet. Now, two seconds after I jump out of bed — OK, let me rephrase that — jump is not the operative word. It’s more like crawl and stumble with only one eye open. But, one of the immediate and most pressing things I need to do in the mornings is make coffee.
I love coffee. I may have mentioned that before. I can’t remember, probably cause I haven’t had enough coffee yet this morning. Anyway, I like flavored coffees. In fact, I have, let me see now, eight different flavors of coffee in my cupboard, and I sometimes mix and match. Lately, I’ve been trying to cut the regular coffee with decaf to wean myself off caffeine. It’s tough for two reasons. The first few days with my caffeine intake cut in half, I was soooooo tired. It felt like I had been driving 24 hours straight, just trying to keep my eyes open while sitting in front of the computer.
That actually got much better as the days went on.
But I am losing track of time.
The second problem wasn’t as easy to overcome. Apparently, no one is joining in my health-improvement goals because, out of, say, 30 different types of regular, caffeinated coffees there might be one decaf.
Not a big choice there. Rather restrictive, especially when you consider there is coconut macaroon, tiramisu, almond, Kahlua (flavored, that is), chocolate truffle, French vanilla and even strawberry-flavored coffee.
But usually just one measly little bag of decaffeinated hazelnut creme.
I guess the timing for an abundance of decaf coffee flavors just isn’t here yet.
But wait, I have wasted some time writing about coffee and I wanted to look at sweet, sweet time.
The rock group The Byrds, with words adapted from the Bible, the Book of Ecclesiastes, and music by Peter Seeger, came up with the song about time, titled “Turn! Turn! Turn!.” It goes in part something like this:
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep ...
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together ...
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing ...
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late ...
I sure hope they are right.
I also hope it’s not too late.
I hope we all still have enough time.
But here is the part about time that’s really, really scary — and really, really redeeming.
Time is finite. At least for us. It will end. Again, at least for us. We usually go through our lives pretending that time is infinite, unending. We grumble about waiting in line for lunch, wasting time. We complain how much time it takes for us to drive back and forth to work every day, again, wasting more time.
Yet, every day, every one of us has the same amount of time as everybody else! Some of us work hard and accomplish a lot. Others of us just fritter time away with nothing to show for it.
So, if you remember nothing else from these few pictures into time, just keep this one thing in mind the next time your thoughts turn to time:
When Beethoven was 60 years old, he had been dead for three years! It’s too bad he didn’t use his time more wisely!