Time is something we cannot get back; we can’t buy it, freeze it or rewind it. It simply is, now, in this moment. And is it not time that makes life worth living? for time is life, isn't it?
Several things have made me think about my own relationship with time lately, primarily untimely death. If I were to die tomorrow what would it be – in that split second between breath and peacefulness – that I would wish for?
I would wish for time: to be with those I love, to laugh with girlfriends over wine, to stand in the shadow of a golden sunset holding hands, soaking up the soft sea breeze and those last beautiful droplets of a late summer’s day. I would want time to not just hear my daughter’s infectious laugh, but be within it, submerged.
Today I walked a local loop walk with my daughter and our dog; across fields, through the grounds of a farmhouse, over pretty canal bridges and along a peaceful towpath littered with the soggy fallen leaves of a disappearing Autumn. We talked, we admired, we collected leaves and berries, we shared a homemade bun, we climbed trees. But mostly we just breathed in the unseasonably warm day fully; the soft quietness of a fine mist, welcome patches of blue sky, an occasional bright sunray.
I thought: ‘I’m so glad I have time to hear the birds – I mean really hear them – time to listen to my heart. Time to listen to life.’
It wasn’t always this way, I didn’t always have time. Often I was buried in work or rushing about restlessly, filling my days with this and that, but then we decided to move onto a narrowboat. Not just because we fancied the idea of living on water, but because - for us - it was a lifestyle choice, and that lifestyle affords us what I believe to be the most precious element of life.
And for that I am grateful.