I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to the nature of the passage of time. Recently an old addage has become truth for me. It’s been said,
The older one becomes, the faster time passes.”
When I recall the summer days of my childhood, time seemed to stretch far beyond the limits of the rising and setting of the sun. There was a quality of spaciousness within each hour that allowed my imagination unbridled freedom to explore my inner and outer worlds.
An avid reader, I recall how my girlhood passion for books afforded the luxury to embrace and know the characters within the pages. They became my cherished and blessed companions.
One of my most cherished possessions is a Christmas gift from my parents, a Grossett and Dunlap, 1947, illustrated edition of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic, Little Women. The pages have yellowed and the dust jacket disappeared years ago, but Marmee, Jo, Amy and the others are still as vibrant and alive to me as when I first read the story in 1957, when I was ten. There have been new editions of Little Women since that time, and the book continues to inspire hearts and minds.
As I journey towards my seventieth birthday in the fall of this year, I am suddenly extremely aware of how swiftly the weeks and months go by. There is a deepening preciousness and appreciation for every day. There is a bittersweet and melancholy quality to my visceral realization of this passing lifetime.
I am reconnected with the shy, strange girl that still lives within my bones, and I’m newly acquainted with the aging, curious woman that greets me in the mirror each morning. The two facets of myself are conspiring. I hear them whisper when I sit down to write. They tell one another their favorite stories and remind me of the ones I’ve long forgotten. My spirit continues to be informed by the books I enjoyed so many years ago, as well as, current discoveries that appear as inviting landscapes awaiting exploration.
When I contemplate the passage of time I am always a bit amazed that twenty-two years of my life were dedicated to writing my novel, Ink and Honey. The story of the Sisters of Belle Coeur required fermentation within my heart and soul before it ripened. A writer’s life requires patience and time. Writing is an alchemical process and it can’t be rushed.
Now, I’m in the late autumn of my life. Winter is swiftly approaching. The bookish girl and aging woman are in conversation with my muse. They call to me in my dreams…
It’s time to begin again. Put your pen to the page. We’ve a story to tell you…”
Dutifully, I respond. The first draft of my latest manuscript is taking form. My current writing project won’t have twenty-two years to ferment. Today, all I know for certain is that the clock is ticking and I’ve work to complete.
Dear God, please slow the passage of life’s seasons and don’t let Winter arrive too soon.