Time slips away. And it slips away faster every day that passes, every hour. I was reminded of just how fast by a phone call this morning. A good friend from college and I talked for an hour. About houses, our kids, careers, old friends, all the mundane things of life. It was the best one hour I’ve had in a very long time. But it opened with a melancholy beginning. We tried to remember the last time we’d talked. The last time we’d discussed our families. The last time we had seen each other. Our answer was that we didn’t really remember. Maybe a few years, maybe more. The time blurs past so fast that you lose track. Lose so many precious moments in the chaos of daily life. The whir and hum of commutes, the demands of jobs, the press of responsibility – these things take us away from the ones we care about so much. The people who made our lives worth living in the first place.
Our daughter was born just a little under two years ago. And already the changes in her astound us every day. And every day those moments pass, almost unmarked. The funny things she says, a day spent at the park going down the slide a hundred times, trying ice cream for the first time, getting knocked over by her furry corgi cousin. These moments in time pass so fast.
Mrs. Grizzly and I already talk about how we struggle to remember what baby bear looked like when she was first born. Struggle to remember those first few precious days and weeks. Somethings will jog our memory – the sounds of a music box we played when we first brought her home. Her first stuffed animal – a now dingy Peter Rabbit. A set of baby clothes that no longer fit, tucked away in a closet awaiting a sister or cousin. But even these memories recede as every day passes faster than the one before. Her second year has flown past. Just a moment ago we were planning her first birthday, now we’re planning her second. Soon we will be planning her 16th.
The meaning of our lives is bound up in time: how we spend it, who we spend it with, what we do with the few brief moments given to us. We all search for meaning, search for those endeavors that make every moment count. Search for what will give our passage through this world weight and heft, warp and weft. Search for things that will give those minutes, and hours, and days that pass with such speed purpose. We often search so desperately that we miss the simple things really do give our life meaning: conversations with friends, trips to the park with our children, a quite dinner with a spouse. These are the moments that pass so rapidly. These simple pieces of joy are the ones that fly away from us, so hard to capture, so hard to remember as the years move on.
The point of this journey we are on is to capture more of those moments. More of the time that seems to pass faster every day. Try to leave behind the press of things that matter so little, and embrace the people and moments that do. I don’t want to wake up four years down the road and I realize that I haven’t talked to my friend since this day. I don’t want to wake up 14 years from now and remember only a handful of days at the park or rainy days spent playing board games. Time is a precious thing, a precious thing that slips through your hands like water. Drink deep while you hold it, it is gone far too fast.