The way we measure life. The way we pass our days. The constant references to time that color our speech and make up the pattern of our conversation. We can not cope without it. We can not live in the present...we wait endlessly for days that come and then are over in a flash; we live through days that no one else even suspects the value of but ourselves...if even ourselves.
The following is a verse from P. B Shelley's poem "Mutability", it has always been one of my favorite verses. Those words are so beautiful and the very reason for their beauty lies in the acknowledgment of how finite our lives are, how brief our time is, whether we live to be 95, it probably never seems long enough to have done and loved and experienced all we wanted to.
"The flower that smiles today
All that we wish to stay
Tempts and then flies.
What is this world's delight?
Lightning that mocks the night,
Brief even as bright."
Though I have almost never worn a watch in my life aside from when I lived in Germany (where the importance of time takes on a whole other dimension ;) and occasionally when I work, I also measure moments and months...
...The next time I go home to Canada, I will have been away from home for three years and seven Christmases. I have known my husband for 10 years now and been married to him for 5 in October. It has been 10 years since I was a carefree 18 year old spending my months backpacking in what was then, far, far away Scandinavia and Germany...now I live here, funny how life works out.:) It has been 18 months since Per and I began the adoption process.
Those are the bare bones. Minutes, months and years. They tell you nothing really. But they are my measures. They shape me. Each of those periods of time is filled almost to the bursting point with various emotions and experiences...happiness, excitement, discovery, growth, trials, pain, struggle, love, understanding, questioning, confusion, darkness, light and during these times I have been everything: brave, foolish, funny, wise, cutting, unkind, fearful, loving, compassionate, ignorant, miserable, thoughtful and thoughtless...
But we all have our measures, our own months and years. And we all know nothing about one another.