Time has a way of passing, doesn’t it? That’s just life, I know. But lately, for many reasons, I’ve been thinking about how time slips by.
First of all, I guess, is the fact that Mum has been gone for seven months. She died in early May. Most days I cannot wrap my head around the fact that she’s gone. That the structure of our family has changed. That her era has ended.
I still have stuff that needs doing with respect to Mum’s will. I’m her executor. I did some of the jobs back in the spring, and then in August I did some more. But some of it necessarily took time, and had to wait until Stu and I came home from Portugal to be finalized. But then Covid intervened and the weeks slid by. So some things are still up in the air. And in a few months a whole year will have gone by. Which seems unfathomable.
The time is slip sliding away, to quote Paul Simon.
But, as I said, that’s just life.
Then I saw this on Instagram the other day posted by British artist Andrew Weller. You can follow him here. It’s a beautiful depiction of a location in England which set memory bells clanging for me.
“Wait a minute,” I thought. “We’ve been there.” And not just in Haworth, Yorkshire.
Haworth is home to the Brontë Parsonage Museum where I tarried for a couple of hours in July 2005, while Hubby patiently left me to my own devices and walked about the town. He is not so enthusiastic nor as emotionally affected by Brontë artifacts as I am. I mean, that heartbreakingly tiny dress worn by an adult Charlotte Brontë almost did me in. So he walked, and I enjoyed my time alone worshipping at yet another literary shrine.
Anyway. As I said, the other day when I saw that IG post I thought, “We have been there. Not just in Haworth… but in that exact spot.” And I have the photographic evidence to prove it.
And the point of all this is that photo of Hubby in the phone booth, still sporting the moustache he shaved off years ago, was taken almost twenty years ago. Eighteen years to be exact, in 2005.
Speaking of time slipping by.
I should add that while the moustache has gone, he still wears the Gortex jacket and pants for canoeing, and still brings that blue fanny pack when we travel. He is the original slow-fashionisto in our house, folks. Although maybe it would be more appropriate to use Orsola de Castro’s term and call him a “clothes keeper.” He is certainly that. Ha. But I should talk. As you well know, I have blazers and sweaters in my closet that are way older than Hubby’s jacket. Ten years older in fact.
So then, the other day I realized that it was my nephew’s birthday. My sister’s son turned forty-two. What? Yep. The kid who as a toddler could scamper up doorframes in his bare feet and swing from second floor railings giving his mother a heart attack is now a respectable husband and father of two. And how the heck did that happen?
Here’s the baby in question and his Auntie in December 1981. My goodness, how tiny he was. One of us is less than a month old, and the other is twenty-five. That makes me twenty-five years older than the forty-two year old. You do the math.
The changes time has wrought in forty-two years are certainly exemplified in the photo below, taken earlier this week. Aside from the obvious changes in hair colour. Look at how much makeup I wore in my twenties compared to now. Holy cow! I look as if I lathered the eye shadow on with a trowel back then.
And when I asked Hubby to look at the two photographs, he didn’t even notice the makeup. He said he had to look twice at the recent shot. For a second he thought it was my sister Carolyn. Until he recognized the coat. Something about the angle of the photo, he said. And when I look again, I can see it too.
Which is odd isn’t it? My sisters and I have always looked so different from each other. Connie, dark-haired with dark eyes like Mum. Carolyn with aquiline features and straight blonde hair. Me with a round face and curly hair. But lately, I can see that sometimes I smile just like my sister Carolyn.
Fate has been messing with me, I think. When I was twelve I would have given anything to look like either of my older sisters who I so admired. Why wait until I am reasonably happy with my own face to make us look alike? As Shakespeare says, the “whirligig of time” plays games with us as it slips and slides away.
Lately it seems I’ve been noticing more and more often how time slip slides away. Weeks, months, decades, even. Until it seems to be gushing, rushing, cascading, rocketing, galloping, careening. Well, you get the point.
Kids are born. And those who were grown when those kids were born grow old. And those that were already old, or on the brink of it, when those kids were born are now gone.
But that’s just life, eh?
So that’s what’s been on my mind lately. Just life. And the slip sliding of time.
Because of the lingering effects of Covid, I’ve cancelled a couple of events that I really wanted to attend. And I’m disappointed about that. Especially about the birthday party of a good friend. A big party for a big birthday, which I am sad to have missed. And I had my outfit all planned. Sigh.
But I hope it was a great party. Because, after all, how many big birthdays do we have left to celebrate? With time slip sliding away, we can’t afford to miss any celebrations. And I mean any.
Hubby and I will celebrate our thirty-eighth Christmas together this year. Starting back in 1986 before we were married, or even living together. We started dating shortly before Christmas. So this time of year seems to be most particularly about us. About fires in the fireplace and a nice glass of wine and just we two.
Even in a world where time seems to be sliding away, that hasn’t changed.
How about you my friends? Of course it’s just life… I know that… but lately… have you been noticing that slip sliding effect of time?