Today is June 21, 2013, the longest day of the year. I know the date; I know what year it is, but I’ve noticed lately that I have to stop and think about it as I save a file. It has long been my custom to identify my files by name/subject and date. This helps with draft updates and revisions and it also helps keep me anchored in time and space.
When the heck did I write that? I often ask myself when I run across a stray journal entry or errant dream fragment or short story. Oh, I remember now. September 18, 2003. That was about the time this or that happened. Lately, though, I’ve been hesitating before hitting 3, even catching myself typing a 0 or a 1 for no apparent reason. It makes me think where my head is, where my mind has cast itself back to, and what my higher self is trying to tell me.
Make it so.
Time is a funny thing, stretching and twisting and expanding at will, then warping back with a snap. My kids and I have a time warp theory that stems from common experience. We’ve all experienced moments when time seemed to stretch out before us, allowing us to cover miles of road or innumerable pages in the seeming blink of an eye. My first experience came in high school when my mother drove 45 miles in 15 minutes. No kidding. My mother who never exceeded the 55 mph speed limit. We left my uncle’s house at 4:00 in the afternoon and arrived at our exit–45 miles away–at 4:15. Now, unless that old Oldsmobile had hidden warp speed capability, the only explanation we could come up with was a time warp.
That strange sensation of time slowing down has a boomerang effect though, too. As it’s happened time and again throughout the years, I’ve come to realize that at some point, time catches up with itself–and usually while I’m brushing my teeth. When I was working at a real job, brushing my teeth was always the last thing I’d do before walking out the door. Dressed and ready to go, I can’t tell you how many times I looked at the clock as I headed to the bathroom and it would read 7:22 (or so–plenty of time), brushed my teeth (quickly), and then glanced once again at the time: 7:44. Holy crap! I hate to be late and I’d rush around the house settling dogs and locking doors. My son used to call me on his way to work and he could always tell. “Time warp?” he’d ask. “Yep. Playing catch up.” It happens.
Happy Summer Solstice!
So, on this longest of days I get the distinct feeling that time is, once again, playing catch up, allowing us to drink in the sunshine for just a little longer, holding the darkness at bay for just a few minutes more. Time can afford this stretching out of the moments at play. Winter will come soon enough and it all balances out in the end.