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Graduation ceremony brings thoughts of time

People always bemoan the passing of time, but that's a habit just as pointless as complaining about the weather. Better to embrace it because it's going to happen no matter what.

Still, getting melancholy over time can be tempting. Tonight at a graduation party, watching that cluster of kids interact, I was again filled with wonder at the path that brought us all where we are today. We have that group of kids who has known each other practically their whole lives, as long as they can remember. Just like when they were small, although now almost grown, the Babies still crave being the center of attention.  Perhaps that will never change. But the older ones, always the ones who at least seemed more mature (and at times that has been debatable), seem older still by their actions today. They were helpful, smiled and laughed with the adults, and are doing something with their lives that offers the chance to have something to offer to us. They have wisdom to share. Certainly they always did, it's just that now we all know it to be true.

Each of those children has suffered loss, endured tragedy. They are still standing, still pushing forward, though it's likely they are not sure exactly where they're going.

And if they are so changed, so much older, so then must I be.

There's that core group of parents who has also known one another for many years ... good friends. From the outside it is simply an easy group who knows each other well and no pretense is necessary. If you look closer you will see layers that the years have left behind ... layers of joyful times and of dreams lost. There is a settling of the mind after so many years of living life, through good times and bad, from the sorrow of lost loved ones and the quiet joy we get from simple times spent with those we hold dear.

Times change, time heals. Times are hard.

But for now, it's the Babies' time to fly.     

At graduation, much is made of this being "their time." But how much do we really "own" time? Time flies, time drags, time is on our side, time is our friend and our enemy, but does it really belong to us, or are we only borrowing it for ... a time?

There is a Buddhist quote that says, "The trouble is, you think you have time."  

It's no wonder those Buddhists sit up on that mountaintop for so long, if they're reflecting on thoughts like that.

Do we "have" time, or does time "have" us?

From the Bible ... "For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." That's both beautiful and sad, but we all know it's true. Again, grace prevails if we can both embrace that, enjoy our time the best we can, and do good work.

It is a simple notion in a complex world.

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