The Rhythm of the Seasons

As my husband drove our family to North Jersey for Easter dinner, we listened to sports radio, a-flutter with news of basketball (both college and the NBA) and opening day for baseball. We chatted that we couldn’t believe that baseball was starting up again, and that tomorrow is April. “The rhythm of the seasons,” my husband said.

I thought about that phrase over and over as we drove up the Turnpike. I remembered the days when the years went by so slowly. The school year seemed to last forever. December and Christmas always felt so far away. The time between birthdays stretched endlessly.

Baseball already, I thought. How did that happen? The season just ended yesterday. Didn’t I recently put away the Christmas decorations? Now there we were, going to Easter dinner. Sports talk continued. March Madness again? Another Final Four? Another NBA post-season? Why is everything happening in the blink of an eye?

I thought of the words again.  The rhythm of the seasons.

The seasons keep turning and dragging us along with them, whether we are ready to move on or not. Time relentlessly moves forward without granting a pause or a break to catch our breath. The rhythm keeps the beat steady, even when our minds and bodies can’t keep up with the song.

As we approached the Meadowlands on our trip today, we traveled along the New York City skyline. I automatically gazed to my right to check on the Freedom Tower, a work still in progress. I thought about my nephew– he was five when the Towers fell, and soon he’s graduating high school. My husband commented that each year that he teaches his high school kids, it gets more and more difficult for them to remember that day. They were babies.

Yet I remember that day like it was yesterday. Every detail. I can tell you exactly where I was on Rt. 280 East and exactly what Howard Stern was talking about when he and I both learned of the news together. I remember what my husband and I, newly-married at the time did that night. I remember the calls I made and the people I worried for and I remember the news.  The never-ending news that so many of us obsessed over.

Now almost twelve years later, I am still moved by that site every time I travel the Turnpike. Reflexively I look to the site, where it seems like just yesterday the smoke rose into the sky everyday on my commute to work. These days, instead of smoke the incomplete Freedom Tower creeps upward into the sky, desperately trying to stand tall and help us move on. Somehow, in my memory, I can recall details from 2001 even now in 2013, but I can’t recall how I got here. How did we move on from that? I am not sure we have or ever will.

But the rhythm of the seasons carries us through life. Now though, instead of wanting to push the years through, hurry the birthdays, and build the new tower, I want to slow it down. I want to hit “pause” and take a breather. I want to turn the ballet of my life from an allegro into an adagio and concentrate and remember and experience the detail in terms of quality instead of quantity.

But maybe that’s not how life works. Maybe as we get older, time travels by more quickly because that’s just how it is. There’s no brake pad, no downshifting.

Is there a secret to slowing it all down? If you know the secret, I’d appreciate your advice. I’d sure like to slow down my kids because those buggers keep growing.  I want to slow down my birthdays, because I’m not getting any younger.  I want to slow down the baseball season, because I don’t want to blink and have to decorate for Halloween, then Christmas, and then think about Easter dinner again.  So where’s that “pause” button, Blogtropolis?

Thanks for reading and tolerating my pensive mood.

10 Comments

  1. Sad but true, life goes by and we must remember and tell our stories to the young. I slow time by just stopping everything and having a chill down day with the kids. A day at home, no plans, we ride bikes, sit on the deck and watch the cows and the bird life pass us by. We had visitors for easter from the city, they could not believe how time stood still hanging out on the dairy farm. Beautiful post by the way.

    Like

  2. Well said. Gido always said the older you get the faster time flies. I should have paid closer attention. As usual, he was right. I was so busy living my life I forgot sometimes to feel what I was living. It seemed I lived a lot of it in retrospect. If I knew then what I know now… But I didn’t. So now I try to pay closer attention to the moment. It’s the only time I have and I really need to pay closer attention.

    Like

  3. Things just keep going by faster. The key to slowing it down is having a newborn. Or spending your life on a stairmaster. Janeane Garafalo (i know must be spelling her name wrong) had this bit about how she wished she could rig her stairmaster to her snooze alarm so that the workouts went by as fast as the snoozing intervals and the snoozing intervals seemed as long as the workouts. Not the most hilarious joke of hers, but I often think about it. Especially since my whole life is flying by in snooze mode! But I also think that the key to making the years move more slowly is to keep doing different things. So that it is easy to remember how much you have done and so that it does not all blur together.

    Like

  4. There is actually a scientific explanation about why things go faster as we get older. It has to do with proportions. When you are 5, the summer seems to last forever, because it is 1/20th of the time you’ve been alive. When you are 50, the summer seems to fly by because the summer, though it’s still the same size is now 1/200th of your life. A much smaller segment in comparison. (An investigator I used to work with either came up with that or heard it somewhere – I can’t claim credit for it in any way, but I thought he was pretty spot on.)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s