They rush forward into time, always looking ahead to what's next and where they're going, so eager to be Up and Away. Year after year I see them yearn for the After of this place, believing in their ignorance that life will be easier, that the soap-opera drama of their teenage years will turn to Hollywood happily-ever-after. I look at them from the lofty heights of my two and thirty years, shaking my head at their naivete. Youth is wasted on the young and so it is. Time flits by ever faster as day after day slips through my fingers in a sandy rush, trailing behind me across hills and valleys, plains and bogs, the journey of a lifetime a mere three decades in the making.
My grandparents are all still living, leaving their eighth decades and entering or already in their ninth, the paths they've trod telling tales of hardship and joy alike. I wonder whether their days flow by even more quickly, if they blink and night has come again. What memories come to the fore after thrice my years? Which ones recede into the background? How does Time's fluid nature exist in their minds?
I find myself repeating the error of those youths. I am in the infancy of a new life, a new era. Yet I, too, yearn for the After of this time. In my own naivete I think that once certain uncertainties are made certain, that once specific events are made final, that somehow the path will become smooth. The reality of life says otherwise: there will be more mountains to climb, valleys to traverse, obstacles to block my way. Pain will come my way again, and the nature of that pain is yet unknown.
Perhaps this is the blessing of our blind futures. Perhaps if we knew what hardships lie in our path, we would live too much in fear to truly live. Instead we exist in our aging youth, always pitying those younger than we, always pitied by those who have already lived our age. For life is a series of lessons learned, and it is only when we learn to embrace the wisdom brought by pain while glorying in the joys that we live fully.
Yet...Time passes so swiftly. And each shining grain of sand that pours through the hourglass is lost if we do not live in the moment.
for life's not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis
--e. e. cummings