Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time Flies . . . All the Time

Today was our last day of school.  As one 4th grader said, "We started school yesterday and ended today."  It does feel that way.  Maybe the weather and the mixed up seasons have affected our concept of time. 

I've never really had good concept of time.  I remember one day growing up, my mom was gathering all our school supplies.  When I asked my brother why she was doing this, he said, "School starts tomorrow."  Maybe as a kid I was able to live more freely in the present moment and left the worries about tomorrow up to other people.

A child's concept of time and age is interesting.  One of the kindergartners once asked me, "A long time ago, did you teach my mom that song because she knows it."  Considering I'm probably around her mom's age, I wouldn't have been able to teach her that song "a long time ago."

A few years ago, one of 2nd graders told his sister that I was retiring.  When I asked him why he told her this, he said, "That's what I thought you said."  I clarified that I probably said I was tired, not that I was retiring.  (I'm always surprised at the things the kids tell me I said.  It's usually news to me.)

I had a group of students the other day who had difficulty getting quiet.  I told them we were going to take one minute of silence.  After 60 seconds, some of them just about exploded.  A minute seemed like an eternity.  Keeping quiet for that long was a lot of work for some.  I wonder what they'd think about being at the monastery where our moments of silence last longer than a minute.  Of course when I tried Centering Prayer before I entered the monastery, I just about went crazy and almost exploded also.  Silence is something you have to learn.  There's not much room for it in our busy world.  You really have to make the room and grow into it.

Not having a good concept of time isn't just something kids have.  My mom is the worst.  She used to mention something and say, "Wasn't that just last year?"  She was in disbelief when I'd tell her, "Mom, that was 10 years ago." 

Time really does fly.  It's hard to believe that this is the last day of school.  I'm not going to argue though.  Soon it'll be time to start up again, and we'll all say, "Didn't we just get out yesterday?"

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