When did the clock find the wind…again?

When did the clock find the wind…to sprint like this?

And how could we not see its fleeing?

There were baby hugs

And finger paints

Mid-day naps

And lollipops

Sand in her tennies

And potted beans on the windowsill

Pound-puppies and princess’s ponies

And bubble gum and pig-tails

Now she wants to drive

And her iPod is in her backpack

With her cell phone at her ear

Long curly hair ironed flat in the mirror

And she’s ready for the prom

When did the clock find the wind…to sprint like this?

When we were young, we noticed that it took forever for special days to get here; whether they were birthdays, Christmases, the last days of school, etc…they took an eternity, as marked by our child’s minds that registered time’s passing by those ultra-special days coming and going.

Now that the years have gathered, so many more things mark time…payday Fridays, her birthday, your birthday, her mom’s birthday, vacation, the first day of school, early-release every third Thursday, progress reports, report cards, the annual re-bid at work, a trainee for five weeks, the boss is gone for two, the weekend stand-by form on every Thursday, monitor each employee every month, we just checked your messages, it’s Thanksgiving and now it’s New Years and another move or not, and Christmas or winter break is passed and past, and one more semester until it’s done, and this process takes four weeks and that one takes seven, and the puppy needs his next set of shots and three more months until that movie comes out, another week to read the book, pay this bill on the 15th and that one on the first, and pay it again on the 15th, and the other one again on the first, and next month there are three paychecks for you and for me, so we look forward to yours and to mine and we pay extra on this one and it’s time to trim the bushes again, and the bug-guy is here again, and it’s time to change your oil and rotate the tires again, and it’s her birthday again then mine and her mom’s and my mom’s and school’s out again for the year and then she’s 21 weeks along and they can do the ultra-sound and see if it’s a boy or a girl, and which type of paint and trim do we get and we’ll know pretty soon…it does seem to rush by, unbidden, just passing with speed beyond belief, sometimes like tempests and torn in the way, and images of youth and what used to be has gone in the swirling of leaves and thought and remembrance, our encumbered spirits and minds loose (not lose) those things of yesterday and try to gather them back again before they are ungraspable in their passing, gone in that spirit of has-been and collected somewhere up in the ether where lost thoughts and radio waves linger unhitched for evermore.

We used to think that our grandparents and parents were old or getting that way and now we find ourselves noticing the little lines by our eyes…and the ones that run down into our cheeks or spread like the sun’s rays from the corners of our mouths…we find that the singular gray hairs have multiplied into a profusion that creeps into our vision until it’s time to dye them again…or not…and the moustache had a couple and the chin several more and it’s no longer possible to trim that one or pluck it away as before…they aren’t going away…our memories hold when our bodies won’t…and our children are getting older…the lines on the door frame that used to be fun to mark once or twice a year are slowly catching-up with our chin and eye-level reaches…and we wonder where it’s gone…we wonder how it not only learned to sprint and spring away but to indeed flee and leave us watching…making yet more notes of its passing…she was only 11 months-old when we saw her the first time and she just turned 13 years-old…another was captured in a picture at almost three years-old with her arm in a cast and now she’s 26 years-old…and the first-born is crowing at 28 years…and those in between with babies and lives and house-payments and then….

And my friend, Byron, whose gentle soul found the words that title this writing, noticed in awe the beauty and unbelievable 16 years of his daughter as he took her to school one day last week…it struck him how she’s not that little girl anymore who used to crawl into his lap with a favorite book or doll and sit there playing with his chin…time has fled with that little one and brought a beautiful young lady to take her place…unbeknownst to anyone watching…suddenly she is here…and we wonder again…where did the clock find the wind to sprint like this?

Thank you, Byron.

***This is a Favorite Re-post from December, 2009….it was brought to mind again after seeing my friend Byron for the first time in nearly four years…and he told me that his daughter is now married and recently graduated from college.

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10 responses

  1. Very nice . . . though we opted to not have kids, we experience the same thing with nephews, friend’s children, and in my case employees I had hired in their early twenties that are now in their forties with families and their own gray hairs.

    That’s one thing FaceBook has done that few (if any) vehicles are able to do. I see a photo of someone I know, and I must adjust the mental image, the memory I have of them from when i last saw them.

    They are adults. They are individuals. They have lives well beyond from what I remember.

    I, of course, remain the same . . . inside.

    July 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    • Thank you, Emilio…it’s amazing to watch friends and loved ones progress through the stages of life…hopefully it will take many, many years before we have to consider or experience the end.

      July 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm

  2. its nice to be kids, to be always so excited about things. As we grow, the excitement of experiencing something new is slowly fading as the bracket of the unknown is getting narrower every day.

    July 21, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    • Yes, that bracket is getting narrower, but it’s still there…and that’s probably a good thing…keep us wondering. Thanks, Eric.

      July 23, 2014 at 6:22 pm

  3. From one who’s memory floats off into the clouds with only the slightest breeze…..this is a lovely and very melancholy evocation of times passing…..and no matter how hard we try to hold onto the passing moment that separates existence from living, it’s only the now that we live in and the now somehow separates us from our memories of then. The now is tangible, yes, touchable, but the when is fleeting and dissolves like the morning clouds on a summer’s day.
    I miss the times when they sat on your lap and you held their hand to cross the road…..that was real……it gave a sense of closeness and purpose….I do so miss that…..

    July 24, 2014 at 4:57 am

    • When my little one was younger, I was often very conscious of his hand in mine and would look for opportunities when I might hold it…for I knew that there would come a time when he no longer wanted or needed to hold mine. Cherished memories, dear John….

      July 29, 2014 at 9:28 am

      • Oh Yes, Scott……the world moves on….but the precious moments linger.

        July 29, 2014 at 3:12 pm

  4. A lovely piece of writing Scott!

    July 24, 2014 at 9:43 am

    • Many thanks, Adrian. :)

      July 29, 2014 at 9:28 am

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