Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Flying Time

". . . But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near . . ."

Andrew Marvell said that "To His Coy Mistress," back in the 17 th century. He was trying to get her to go to bed with him -- kind of a male biological clock thing. But at this time of year, with garden, and book promotion, and company, and garden, and book writing, and all the other bits of living, the days, though long, don't seem to have enough hours, and I too hear the urgent rumble of that vehicle.

Time is racing now -- on every hand I see reminders of how quickly the summer is speeding by. The chicks, those little puffballs, all thriving, are a week old now and have wing feathers.

The arum dracunculus have had their moment of odiferous glory. The proud spadix and magnificent spathe are gone, leaving a bundle of green seeds that will soon ripen to cayenne red, while the deep-lobed leaves are twisting and shriveling like dead hands.

And the wrens are still with us, sleeping and growing fat while their harried parents scour our garden for bugs and caterpillars. Between the coming and going of the wrens and the warring humming birds, we have to be careful on the front porch to stay out of nature's flight paths as we rush about on our busy-ness of the day.

I think wistfully of the seemingly endless summers when I was young -- time to read to my heart's content, to ride my bike for miles along the tree-shaded sidewalks of suburban Tampa, to play kick-the-can in the fading twilight till our mothers called and we trundled home, surprised to find that it was black dark and denying it all the while.
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Pat in east TN said...

I also cannot believe how time flies anymore, and it's not just me, many folks seem to comment on it anymore, but ... is it my age??? Is the world spinning faster??? What, what, what!?!?! It does seem like summer is quickly passing by ... my garden was one day little shoots of this/that and now is in full swing, each morning blessing me with more goodies then I ever expected. The bluebirds are building a new nest for their 3rd batch of little ones, while the 'hummers' are doing their little crazy dance all around the back of the house.

Yes, I fondly remember those endless, lazy days of my youth ... aaaaah, those were the days!!!

Vicki Lane said...

I think everything's faster now -- even young kids, unless they're very lucky, don't have time for just messing about. They're shunted from lessons to teams to one 'opportunity
for personal growth' after another.

I read the other day (can't possibly remember where) that the Spanish have a saying that improves on the Italian "Dolce far niente" (Sweet to do nothing.) The Spanish saying is "Sweet to do nothing and take a nap afterward."

Tammy said...

Great post. I find the same in my own life, rushing about trying to dip into everything the season has to offer, falling into bed at night, not getting half of it done. I'm getting hay in now (buying it, mind you, not baling! ;-) because winter's always coming. I feel very blessed to have had the freedom I had in childhood, to be a child. Me and my cousin also roamed around through the fields and woods all day, only dragging back at meals and choretime.
Tammy (it's raining here again--up to five inches 'they' say)

Susan M. Bell said...

I remember living in a very small town in Georgia (Homerville if you can believe that name.) and spending all day riding my bike all over town. My favorite TV show at the time was CHIPs...remember that one? I was Jon's partner, riding my "motorcycle" through town, watching for criminals. (Had such a crush on Larry Wilcox.) Do kids even have time for pretending like that any more? I really think some kids have too much "scheduled" time, sports, music, etc. They'll have plenty of that as adults. They should be given time to pretend, play make believe, just let their imaginations take over.

Also have to say, I'm surprised you managed to get a photo of those little birds sleeping. Good shot.

Vicki Lane said...

I spent most of my childhood pretending that I was riding a horse -- whether on my bike, in the back seat of the car, or on my own two legs. The Lone Ranger was my hero (I'm a lot older than you, Susan)and I was pretty fond of Tonto too. I was always making up stories and scenarios to fit what was actually going on.

My two boys were lucky to have the freedom of our hundred plus acres -- they were heroic guys with wooden swords and capes -- pretty much based on Dungeons and Dragons lore which they got into very early.

And about those baby birds -- their nest is just a bit higher up than my head -- I just hold the camera up and shoot blind.

Tammy, I wish you could send some of that extra rain our way. Loved your blog post on hay -- folks don't realize how much goes into something so simple.

Susan M. Bell said...

Hey Vicki, I grew up on Lone Ranger reruns as well. Loved Clayton Moore. (Can't remember the guys who replaced him for a while. Just wasn't the same.)
I moved around a lot, but could always seem to find reruns of The Lone Ranger and Star Trek no matter where we ended up. Kind of made the transition easier I think.
I bet your boys slayed a lot of dragons out there. D&D stories are the best for getting the imagination going.
And Tammy, after you send some rain toward Vicki, don't forget the rest of us. :-)

Vicki Lane said...

Actually, I'm talking about radio and comic books' Lone Ranger. See, I told you I was a lot older. :-)

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that time flies faster as years accumulate because a year becomes an increasingly smaller percentage of your life. At age 4, it takes a quarter of your lifetime for a year to pass. At 60, the age I'm approaching at the end of the month, a year goes by in just 1/60th of your lifetime. Makes some sense, but "Dolce far niente" applies regardless.

Susan, I've been to Homerville. Seems like it would be a great place to grow up, much the small town in Wisconsin I grew up in. In the summer we could get on our bikes and leave in the morning, roaming from playground to pool, to friend's house for lunch and back home by dark. No worries and no cell phone tether to home, but never any problems either.

Time does fly...time to sign off.

Lynne from GA

Susan M. Bell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan M. Bell said...

Wow. Someone who has not only heard of Homerville, but been there as well. My mother grew up in that area. I was there for a couple years or so. (Like I said, we moved a lot.) It's not a bad town, just very small. I think it's grown some since then, but not much.

Vicki - OK, you got me there. :0}

Vicki Lane said...

Lynne -- what a great explanation for the differences in perception of passing time! Thank you so much! That makes absolute sense to me.