“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.”
This first stanza of the poem “To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time” by 17th-century British poet Robert Herrick that comes to mind each year as I watch another summer end.
The passage of time becomes almost palpable.
We wait so patiently for the warmer weather and longer days to enjoy that season for which this Island seems to have been created -— the glorious days of summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Do you notice the way everyone seems to be happy during the summer? And why not? The Island provides endless opportunities for sunning, swimming, boating, gardening and a plethora of other outdoor activities including barbecuing and fishing.
It almost seems that three months is not enough time to get to do everything we want. Which is why we must make the most of every minute of every day we have.
Summer goes by so rapidly.
I suppose that the reason that time appears to go by so quickly for us older folks is that it represents a smaller percentage of our lives than it did before. Let me explain. When you are 10 years old, a year represents 10 percent of your existence on this planet compared to a year when you are 50, which is only 2 percent.
I don’t know how scientific that all is, but time seemed to go much more slowly when I was younger. And I always wanted it to pass more quickly — always waiting for the next event. Like waiting for those privileges that came with age — a drivers license at 16, being able to buy a beer at 18. Waiting for high school to be over so I could go to college. Waiting for college to be over so I could move on to “be on my own.” Then getting married and raising a family.
But I remember this time was filled with so many “Can’t waits” — like can’t wait until the kids are out of diapers, can’t wait until they’re in school, can’t wait until they’re out of college. The moments of daily existence were not appreciated.
So what’s left after all the “can’t waits?”
Can’t wait until I’m retired. Can’t wait until I have grandchildren.
And here we are with another summer gone.
I often wonder what my next “can’t wait” is. There shouldn’t be any more. I should be able to more fully follow Herrick’s advice (which so many poets articulated before him) and really seize each and every day. Take the time to savor the moments.
Don’t keep wishing for the future. It will be here soon enough. And let’s not moan about the passage of time. Summer’s gone but the fall is coming in all its splendor. Get ready to enjoy it and the winter that will follow!
This Island is a perfect place for many to experience pleasantly the passage of time. As this summer of ’17 comes to a close, take notice of the changes in the light resulting from the angle of the sun. Get out and meet those chilly mornings with excitement.