By James Woodward
These days are full of the most glorious light. Longer and warmer days cheer the heart and soul. As we travel through the seasons and attend to their time each has its distinctive mood and gift. I was a little surprised to overhear someone say that it won’t be long before the nights begin to draw back in.
Time. It moves and shifts. What happens to it? Why are we so bound by it? Why does time pass so slowly when we are young and so rapidly when we are old? Where did the time go, we ask ourselves or, more likely, why am I so busy!?
With each year that passes I feel like my relationship with time becomes more and more complicated. And while I’m a stickler for punctuality because it instils a type of discipline needed, sometimes having to be somewhere at a very specific time without exceptions can be one of the only external stressors of the entire day. Contrarily, waiting on someone also creates a blank space of time that forces one to think about how to use it wisely. Luckily with computers in our pockets we can still make the most of waiting. What about time just to be? Where does that time fit in?
The challenge becomes how to create the right balance between commitments of your time, time dedicated solely to the pursuit of growth/goals/dreams and enough blank space to do anything you desire. If you don’t look at this with careful consideration for each, you’ll wind up as the 80-year-old with regrets and wonder where it all went.
Time is one of the only non-renewable resources. Our lives are busy and sometimes frenetic. Perhaps we forget to make time for things that really matter.
A friend sent me an hourglass whose grains of sand measure fifteen minutes. That isn’t very long. Perhaps it is longer than we give to things that might be important to us – like listening to a friend or partner; wondering about the direction of our life; or taking notice of what is going on around us.
Watching the sand fall into the second part of the hourglass looks delicate and beautiful. For me, it creates a discrete and manageable period to do something that counts.
Try it out and see what happens to your experience of time. The best thing about time is we can use it however we wish and when we start to look at time from an abundance state, we can relieve the stress we put on ourselves to get everything done. Look at time. Cherish it. Celebrate it. Use it well.
James Woodward is Principal of Sarum College. This was adapted from a Footnotes column published in the Salisbury Journal (22 June 2023)