The alarm shouts at my sleepy head, and I press the snooze button too much.
Last night I grumbled as I set clocks forward, wondering why we keep doing this. The saving of time made me lose time this morning. My body feels it. And what wakes the birds in my little woods and the chickens in my neighbor’s yard? Is it not the sun, God’s rhythm-keeper, placed there in the sky for us day after day?
So why do we keep messing with the clocks?
Time. Less a friend, it often seems our enemy, fleeting, running out, rushing ahead, adding years to our lives and age to our bodies. Yet time is a gift, given first to Adam and Eve, the evening and the morning, twenty-four hours that precede and proceed, without ceasing.
Last week time seemed limited with projects looming heavy on my mind. Things transferred from February now wait on the March list of “to get done.” Next week appears much the same. I only hope for small blocks of an hour now and then to move forward, making steps toward completing what I think is important.
But is it? Maybe I am the only one who cares, giving this undertaking importance and weight, perhaps more than it deserves.
Instead of my projects, I chose people last week. Saying “yes” to a spur of the moment lunch invitation. Driving Sweet William to his appointment. Inviting young sisters for brunch and some crafting. Attending a gathering for friends who needed comfort. Visiting a loved one dealing with uncertainty and fearful outcomes.
Recording days in my journal, I view ink on paper and clarity comes. Last week I chose what is better.
There were days when I did not make such good choices. I relived one this week as I listened to those old audio cassettes on the player in our living room, still trying to pick what to keep and what I can toss.
Randomly in the middle of one cassette, I heard my son’s little boy voice. It was high-pitched and small. I saw the scene in my head, forty years ago, him sitting on the floor in our apartment listening to a vinyl record of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He had a book in his hand that followed the story being told in word and song on the record player, and a bell sounded when it was time to turn the page. “Mommy is it time to turn the page?” I heard him say.
The first side ended and the record needed to be flipped and restarted to finish the book. And I heard my boy, “Mommy, it’s time to turn it over.” Silence and waiting. “Mommy come,” he said with more urgency, though it was only a few seconds.
What I was doing in that small two-bedroom home that made me keep him waiting? Whatever it was could not have been more meaningful than the child who wanted my attention.
While the memory was sweet, the pang of regret hangs over me even this morning. I suppose all mothers wonder if we were good enough. What kind of mother was I to that precious boy of mine? Did I give him what he needed, was I attentive, did I listen to his little boy requests, or did I put projects first too many times?
I’m not sure. You’d have to ask him. I only know I want the rest of my life to be people oriented and not ruled by lists and tasks.
People over projects. Making the right choice this time, every time. Because time is a gift from God, and how I spend it is of the utmost importance.