For something which is completely inexorable and steady, time has a curiously elastic feel somehow.  How long ago was it, really, when I looked out on the view above and the spring crocus were coming up on the edge of the field in all their colors?  Did it seem then that summer would last?  When I was taking my nap just now, how long ago was it that I was lying in the same bed and listening to the milk man come with his glass bottles, on a summer morning just like the one which we had this morning?  Last week? When was that?


The fall asters tell me that summer is all but over, and that autumn – perhaps the loveliest time of year – is just about to come.  For our young people, perhaps a surer sign is that the school busses are out on the roads, learning their routes.  For others, it is time to break out the canning jars and work on the peaches again.  Another year has rolled around, and much has changed.  And yet, and yet… I look out across the hills, or just across the Keeping Room to my piano, and I wonder.  Just what has changed?  But change, like time, is everywhere and always.

Perhaps the psalmist says it best, as paraphrased here by Isaac Watts:

A thousand ages in thy sight are like an evening gone, short as the watch which ends the night before the rising sun.

Time like an ever-rolling stream bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten as a dream flies at the opening day.