It’s Not Too Late

There is a little playground next to the bike path where my husband and I start and end most of our runs.

This playground is usually dominated by the four-to-five-year-old crowd. My grandsons (ages seven and nine) have outgrown it for the most part.

Today there was exactly one person on the playground when we began our run. The same one was there when we finished.

He was an oddity – a thirteen-or-fourteen-old boy, tall and gangly as only a young teenage boy can be.

When we ran past him the first time, he was playing the xylophones and drums stationed in the park; when we returned, he was swinging on the swings.

I imagine he already felt nostalgic for his very recently departed childhood, which caused a wave of tender sympathy to wash over me.

Yes,” I thought, “It goes by quickly, doesn’t it?

I have been feeling much the same way.

My husband and I have spent most of the past week mulching.

It’s not our favorite chore. It’s hard work, especially for Bill. We first weed and edge all the flowerbeds surrounding our house. Then he hauls wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow full of much to the beds, which I attempt to spread around evenly.

It’s a lot of lifting for him and crawling around on hands and knees for me. The chore gets more difficult with each passing year.

Bill and I were teenagers when we first met, not too much older than the young man playing on the playground.

We met in Calculus 101, in our freshman year in college. He wanted to talk to me before class but was too shy, so he enlisted a friend to break the ice.

We went on a walk in the woods for our first date and wound up sitting on a stone wall, talking for hours, laughing, and getting to know one another.

I remember those heady first days of our budding relationship.

I was never as eager to go to math class as I was then. My heart would beat just a little faster, knowing I would see him and get to sit next to him. Every “first” was exciting. The first time I met his family, our first kiss, the first concert we attended together.

Who could have imagined back in those days that one day those two teenagers would be mulching flowerbeds together and complaining to each other about sore backs and creaky knees?

Time is a slippery concept, fluid and elastic.

We see time from only one perspective – the inside.

Much like passengers on a speeding train, we perceive our universe and our lives as moving in only one direction, from past to future.

When time is measured, it always appears to move at the same rate. A second is a second, and a minute is a minute.

Physicists know, however, that time is slowed by the gravitational field of heavy objects like planets or stars.

Human beings know that time speeds up as we accumulate more of it.

When I was seven, and just released from school for summer vacation, the time ahead of me seemed to spread out in an endless expanse of swimming pool days and firefly nights.

Looking ahead at my full calendar for this summer, I think, “I need more time.”

Christians believe that, while we are temporal, existing in time, God is eternal. This means that God exists, but not at any one particular point in time. Rather, he exists at all times simultaneously.

There are serious philosophical and theological arguments about the timelessness versus temporality of God, complete with terms like “Quasi-Temporal Eternality” and “Eternal-Temporal-Simultaneity“.

We try to pin God down with “x“s and “y“s, with simulated situations concerning Observers A and B, but God eludes our attempts. I read these theories until my head spins and come no closer to understanding how God exists in time or eternity.

I only know this about time: it’s not too late.

Understanding the abstract concept of time may elude me, but if you are reading this, you and I have one thing in common. We have more of it left.

More time to catch fireflies, more time to swim, more time to marvel at the stars, more time to play on the playground, more time to fall in love all over again, more time to wonder about God. It’s not too late today, right this second.

Let’s spend all of our given time, right down to the nub. Let’s use it all up. Let’s make it count.

It’s late, but it’s not too late.

Maybe Paul said it best in his second letter to the Corinthians: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

You can find the places I link up here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

107 comments

  1. What a great message here: It’s late, but it’s not too late. I know that as I’ve gotten older I’ve become less of a perfectionist so that I’ll try things now that at one time I’d have avoided for fear of not doing them *right.* Not too late to try, I say to myself.

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  2. Oh yes, Laurie. I wish I could slow down time. Life is so good right now!

    I keep a diary and oddly, it helps me to treasure the days and to savour those special moments even more.

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    • So good to read that your life is wonderful right now, Catrina! I have not kept a diary since I was a teenager, but it is appealing. It does help you to appreciate the good times.

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  3. Oh what a lovely post. I love your comment about time being elastic, fluid and slippery. That’s so true. I waste far too much of it on things that don’t matter. Or on worrying about things that might. I just commented on another blog about a trip I made in Australia and I almost put that it must have been a decade ago. Then I realised it was 15 or 16yrs and found it. hard to believe that much time had passed since then.

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    • Thank you, Deborah. I think we all wind up wasting time. I am trying to become more intentional about how I spend my time. I spend far too much of it worrying too.

      I do the same things when I talk about races I have done. I think they were 5 years ago, then I look up the date and it is more like 10!

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  4. Love the post. Have many thoughts in my head, but just can’t seem to get them out in any coherent fashion tonight. I’m glad I have more time left and hope I make every second I have count.

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  5. Hi Laurie – well that was a rollercoaster of a post! From first love to eternity all in one package. I must confess that I don’t fully understand eternity either, but I love that it forms my outlook on life in the “now”. I look at life as a preparation for eternity (otherwise why bother if we’re just going to end up as dust?) I even have Eternity as my car’s licence plate because it’s so important to my understanding of life. Thanks for a great post.

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    • Ha! You see how my mind works, Leanne. It is all over the place! 🙂 Looking at life as a preparation for eternity makes good sense. I love your license plate. What a good way to remind yourself of what is important. Thank you!

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  6. WOW, some big things to think on here. I don’t think anyone is ever too old to enjoy the park! I still climb all over the playground equipment at 50!

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  7. I think that quote is wonderful. I’ve been lost in time recently, being locked away in my home day after day you’d think time would drag, but it hasn’t, it’s still flying by. The memories are forever there though, in some ways time stands so still in your memory.

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  8. It’s sorta like you were in my living room this morning, Laurie. Troy and I were having that very conversation. About not waiting. All beautifully said here–and that giant mulch pile! And your lovely home with the purple door! …And did I mention the giant mulch pile? 🙂 Perhaps that young man on the playground needs some temp work!?

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    • I think with pandemic restrictions lifted a lot of people are going to have to take a look at how they are spending their time. You are such an intentional person, Carolyn. I’m sure you will spend your time wisely!

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  9. Lovely to read a little more about how you and Bill met. My husband and I also met at university and I sometimes look back at those early photos and realise how much time has passed since then. So true that time passes more quickly the more of it you accumulate. As for God and eternity – those are concepts too hard for my brain to even begin to understand! Still having time ahead of you is a gift. Life with Jessica taught me a lot about living in the moment and being thankful the time I have. I’ll always be grateful for the time we had with her too. #MMBC

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  10. I agree, time is a complicated concept, and it certainly does seem to speed up. I think you’re right – we don’t know how much time we have so we just have to make the most of it!

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  11. Time is such a slippery concept, isn’t it? It intrigues me to no end! I tend to feel like I run out of time at the end of every day because I don’t finish the things I want to, but I know that God always gives me enough time. I just need to accept that. 🙂

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  12. I find it amazing that two people who met in high school continue to be compatible. When I think of my boyfriend and crushes way back when, I shudder to think that I might have married one of those. I love that you two are still going strong and taking the time to tend the garden of your lives together.

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  13. Time does seem to speed up as we get older. And I do have battle my mind that says “it is too late to….” But we do know our destination, don’t we? So like a traveller with their hotel already booked, may we not worry about the destination because it has already been picked for us through our believe in Him and what Jesus did for us on the cross!

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  14. “Let’s spend all of our given time, right down to the nub. Let’s use it all up. Let’s make it count.”

    That’s how i feel as well. I’ve wasted so much of it already. I want to end well.

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  15. I miss enjoying playgrounds and will have to enlist my nephew as he grows to be able to play at one without looking like some weirdo hanging out without a kid! I love your memories of how you met Bill and the early days of getting to know one another… so sweet!

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  16. I have had a lot of “deep thoughts” about time recently. Ironic? Facebook is all too generous showing me memories from different years …in April, there were numerous dance recital & prom pics, now all the various graduations (from all three high school grads, and some of the collegiate ones). Yikes!

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  17. I think most of our thoughts have been so muddied by this pandemic that it is hard to think straight. I am a weather worrier, a person who longs for the balmy days of Spring and warm Summer days, then frets when explosive storms crop up. Nothing will make you feel your age faster than yard work – I usually wait until Memorial Day weekend, when everything has done its growth spurt and I prune everything and put out the flowers, etc. in one fell swoop … that way I can feel like Mack truck ran over me all weekend and the first few days … I’m dreading it. There was a song years and years ago and I remember my mom singing it, maybe hearing it on the radio or a movie. The internet is so incredible … in a matter of seconds I found that song. I didn’t know the singer, nothing but “turn around and your 2” and I thought of it when you wrote of seeing this young man and then reflecting on you and Bill “the early years” … makes me kind of sad to hear it now as it has been decades since I heard or thought of it. https://youtu.be/dTL-fwRsEdc

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    • Ha! You and Bill are weather worriers. He tries to look ahead and plan when he can mow the grass without worrying about rain. If it calls for 50% chance of showers, he always thinks it will rain and I always think it won’t. That tells you something about our relationship! 🙂 We were mulching again this afternoon. Now I am worn out. Think I will ask Bill if he wants to get take-out tonight! You have your Memorial Day mulch-fest to look forward to. Thanks for sharing the song!

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      • Oh yes – I’m a big weather worrier and I’m already worried this 90-degree day Saturday will touch off volatile storms from the heat spike. They’ve already said we’ll have an extra hot Summer and stormy weather. Good thing for Bill and me we don’t have hurricane worries as they are predicting a bad year for hurricanes. We’d be biting our nails all Summer. I try to be a glass half-full person Laurie, but with the weather I think it will rain at 50% too. Mulching is a lot of work and you’ll be glad to be done. You deserve take-out for sure. I hope it is cooler for the Memorial Day holiday … 90 degrees and working in the yard will not appeal to me. I one time ran over the lawn mower cord as I had sweat in my eyes and couldn’t see clearly. And another time, rammed the hedge trimmer into the chain-link fence for the same reason and it was not the heat of the day either time. The song, a dip way back into the past.

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      • We have no rain in our 10-day forecast. Bill and I are doing a trail race tomorrow in mid-state PA. It is supposed to be 80 degrees at the start of the race. That is HOT! We mulched some more and are soooo close to being done. We just couldn’t quite bring ourselves to finish. We had to pick up our grandchildren from school too, so had to allow ourselves time to get showers before we left to pick them up. Maybe early next week we will finish. I made scrambled eggs for dinner last night – we didn’t get take out! 🙂

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      • We are considered to be in medium drought right now and welcoming rain. But storms along with those heat spikes. You’ll be hot in that run. I hope it is early. I hope to be at the River very early before the fishing crowd gets there. They just predicted two of three days on the long holiday will have some rain, so because I am like Bill and because I have electrical equipment, I may not be as productive as hoped. This heat is no fun to work in – now you can have takeout when you finish up!

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      • I had to go out and water my flowers, herbs, and tomatoes tonight. We usually have enough rain so that I don’t have to water them this early in the season. The trail race didn’t begin until 10 and it was HOT! We visited our son at his new restaurant when we got home. That was fun!

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      • This weather has been wicked hot. Oh 10:00 a.m. is late in the heat to start a race – walking would be bad enough, let alone running. Ugh. I walked this morning and left at 7:30, got home at 9:45 and was whipped. I intended to catch up in Reader hopefully before the storms later today and our computer guy at work called to say we are (FINALLY) going to Windows 10 and give me a tutorial … we lost our work e-mail three days ago. He’s calling back again, so good thing I did my posts for this week yesterday. I’ve not turned on my water yet because they called for rain yesterday, today and through Wednesday, maybe Thursday. Maybe I should not have trusted them? Sounds good – glad your son has found another restaurant to manage – he was lucky.

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      • Yep. Hot and humid here too. I went to a run/brunch with some women from my running club yesterday. We were supposed to start running by 9:00, but didn’t start until after 10:00! It was hot!!! After the run, we just lounged around on one woman’s shaded deck. I drank about 4 glasses of water.

        You are lucky you are not a procrastinator like me. Sometimes I do my posts ahead of time, but lately, I have been putting them together at the last minute.

        My son was lucky. The new restaurant is a good fit for him.

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      • I was hoping to get a post done this week before Memorial Day weekend as I’ll be busy in the yard, but I’m too behind, so will have to cram that into the rest of the weekend. We are having an all-day rain Friday, so it’s pretty doubtful I’ll work outside on Saturday as I have mostly electric equipment.

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      • We are supposed to have rain here Friday and Saturday too, Linda. I am going to post two more posts next week, then take a break while we visit my sister in Cape Cod and my son and daughter-in-law in Oregon. I don’t want to be stressing about writing blog posts while visiting family and I think I need a few weeks off.

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      • Yes, I’m bummed about that rain when they initially said three gorgeous days. I can get everything done in two days and have a day for me, which I’d really like, if the weather cooperates. Saturday having rain puts a dent in my plans. I’ve had a long week at work as our e-mail went down a week ago and it just came back up yesterday, but there were loads of problems. We’ve now gone to Office but no Windows 10 yet. You’re lucky you use a Mac and not Windows. I’ve been troubleshooting several nights and over the weekend with our computer guy, making me behind here. It is stressful getting behind and worrying about writing and/or responding/commenting, so no, you don’t want to have to do that while visiting with your family – you waited too long to do that due to the pandemic! That sounds like a great time away Laurie – I am envious.

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      • Now we are supposed to get rain from tomorrow until Sunday evening. Ugh! we were supposed to go to a pool party on Sunday, which was canceled because of the predicted weather – a high temperature of 60 degrees! 😦 So sorry you are stressed and feeling like you are falling behind. There is never enough time to do what you WANT to do. When you retire, your boss will lose a good, productive worker.

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      • Our weather this weekend will be good after Saturday afternoon. Today, the official “getaway day” was not fun and besides the rain, 35 mph winds and 42 for a high temp. We had 89 just a couple of days ago. What crummy weather for your weekend and no wonder they cancelled the pool party. You are right – I sometimes look around and have so much to get done, I don’t know where to start. I know the blogging is a big part of my inability to get things done … I now wonder how I did three posts a week? My boss is often sullen and a malcontent about everything. By Friday, I am so ready for two days away. Thank you Laurie – I can hardly wait to retire, but I will be retiring the same time as he will as he wants to make it to 50 years in the law biz like his father (though his father practiced law for 53 years and still practicing when he died). So next year will be 50 years for my boss. He told me fifty and out is good and he will turn 75 next March.

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      • Yikes! 42 degrees for a high at the end of May!!! That’s crazy! Our highs were in the 50s at least yesterday and today. Bill and I ran in the rain both days. It was not a hard rain, though.

        Too bad that you have to interact with a boss who is constantly negative. I think people like that suck up all of your energy. I can’t even imagine working until 75. I’m enjoying retirement.

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      • Yes, can you imagine that’s all we got to? And the furnace went back on Friday. It was chilly and windy for my six miles of walking (I did another virtual 5K plus went walking at three other parks) but today was a beautiful day to work outside. Same for tomorrow. Who wears a heavy sweatshirt with a tee-shirt underneath the end of May? It is difficult and I will finish when he finishes and right now it will not be a minute too soon. I will enjoy just having my time to myself and looking forward to it. We’ve worked together for almost 21 years.

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      • We didn’t turn the heat back on, but our house temperature went down to 63 degrees overnight! It was sunny and warm today, thank heavens. Now, back out to the mulch pile. We just have a little bit left to do, but it was raining most of the weekend. I bet you are counting the days until retirement, Linda. Then the days will be your own.

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      • Oh my – 63! I turned my furnace back on at 69 degrees as it was last Friday and it rained that entire day. But I think if I was not sitting here in one place all day for work, I could have left it off. Bet it is hard to return to the mulch pile after all this and pull muscles again (though you’re in good shape from yoga, running, so I know you won’t feel like I did this morning. It was a little bad yesterday, but this morning even my fingertips hurt. This weekend will be 90 degrees, so I had a perfect weekend to do it. Did your pool party get rescheduled? Laurie – I cannot wait, even if I don’t have travel plans, etc … just to have the days be my own as you say.

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      • I kind of liked sleeping in a cool house. It felt good to cover up. We finally have no mulch in our driveway after weeks of a huge, but diminishing pile. We had to put the last little bit into trash bags. We will give it to our son. We ran out of places to put it. Sorry to read about your DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). You get used to that when you run. At least, I do! 🙂 Our pool party did get rescheduled, but unfortunately, it’s at a time when we can’t go. We already have plans to get together with Bill’s sister on the new date.

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      • I’ll have to remember that acronym DOMS. You run rigorous trail races, so I am not surprised. Today is much better … just a pickup truck ran over me as opposed to a Mack truck. Getting out and walking made me forget about it so that’s a good thing. Well, it’s going to be a very hot Summer, so they will probably schedule another pool party. I did 36 bags of mulch last year and my house is not very big and some gardens have lava rock, or river rock and I was surprised how much the mulch had deteriorated in spots over the Winter. Replenishing it will be on my Spring 2022 list of items to do. (Ugh.)

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      • I learned that acronym from some running bloggers. Glad you are feeling better today. Maybe by tomorrow it will just feel like a mini Cooper. Or even a bicycle! 😁 Moving usually makes it feel better. Mulch does deteriorate. We do it every year, but Bill is a perfectionist. I probably wouldn’t replace it as often.

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      • I will keep it mind … yes, today feels like a bicycle. Much better and tomorrow hopefully will be good as new. I did buy a yoga tape to begin over the Winter and here it is almost Summer and it’s still in its shrink wrapped box. I have been known to carry mulch from one area of the yard to do some fill-ins on off years. I had it delivered in bags last year and a neighbor with a pickup truck came over afterward and said he wanted to buy some and asked the price of the bags. Then he said if I wanted him to get some going forward I could ask him and he’d get it. This is down the street from me and I never had talked to him before, so I don’t think I’d ask, but on the other hand, I don’t want to lug a lot of bark in the car either. I used to do that making multiple trips to the nursery. All that energy I had back in the day!

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      • That’s so nice of your neighbor. We have it delivered by the dump truck full. There is no delivery charge as long as we order a minimum amount, which we always do. What happened to all that energy we used to have when we were younger? 🙂

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      • Oh wow – the charge for my 36 bags was about $60.00 which was highway robbery and that’s what he said, though I didn’t tell him how much. I would offer him some money to get the bags. Maybe I ought to shop around more. I went with this place as I used them before to deliver bags of mulch when I needed a lot … 36 was perfect so it didn’t look skimpy. That energy is long gone I’m sorry to say! Have a good and safe trip Laurie. I know you will be leaving or maybe enroute today … wiggle your toes in the sand at the beach.

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      • I don’t remember what we paid for the mulch, but it was in the hundreds of dollars…maybe $300??? Thank you, Linda. I did wiggle my toes in the sand today with my great niece!

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  18. OH the time thing…I so get that. It’s going faster now we have gone past 70. I understand the lack of ahem, enthusiasm for all that physicality too. This week my husband, who already has a severely compromised spine, has been re-making the front garden where we rent. It’s not huge but there were/are a lot of local weeds and he is trying to eradicate them. He found the getting up and down the worst. Love your take on life right now. Thank you for linking up for Life This Week on Monday 17 May 2021. It is a great community here and I am always pleased to see your post linked. Next week, the optional prompt is Self Care Stories. I look forward to seeing you then too. Denyse.

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    • It’s hard to give up those chores we used to do with ease. I hope your dear hubby wins his battle with those weeds. Thank you, Denyse, and thanks for hosting. Hope to see you next week!

      Like

  19. Laurie, it is amazing how quickly time seems to pass. I once read and don’t recall how it was worded exactly or who said it, but the gist was: “It’s true that time flies. But remember, you are the pilot.” Time is a precious commodity. I am very grateful I have been given more time to spend and pray I use each minute wisely.

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    • When I think about my grandchildren, I can’t believe how fast this school year went. I’m sure they view it differently, though! I love that – “you are the pilot”. So true!

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  20. So tender toward these thoughts on time right now. And I realize that time is not a wave, but I am teaching 6th grade science today and picturing hours and years diffracting and reflecting all over the place.

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  21. Smiling, in those young years there is not thought of boring responsibilities to keep things halfway intact – good, because who would want to marrry then:)
    You have a great way of getting to the point! Am i,pressed. Eternity is such a vast thing, and lately I hear more and more about people who have visited heaven, and how different things and life are there.Who is the painter of your capture here again? I can’t think of his name! Jesh

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      • Of course Salvador Dali – how could I forget. I read not to long ago that he and Picasso did not get along, and Dali mocked him (forgot what it was about, but the article said that Picasso was a communist, which I did not know)

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  22. I’m still in shock how fast my 60s are flying by and I really do try to not be so busy. However God arranged it and made it work, I’m looking forward to not worrying about time ever again.

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  23. Very well written post. At ‘times’ I feel an urgency to be doing something as I get older because as I get older I feel my time is llimited. But then I tell myself I don’t have to do anything but live my life as best I can every day and enjoy living my life.

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  24. I love this story….I loved this phrase:Let’s spend all of our given time, right down to the nub. Let’s use it all up. Let’s make it count.

    So true! Thank you for sharing

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  25. I enjoyed your reflections on time. I find it odd how it seems to go slow, and yet fast, at the same time. It does seem to be speeding by lately.

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  26. Thank you for sharing your Love Story – I love that you are mulching together and share in the aches & pains that have come with the many years together!

    Your post is particularly poignant this morning. Our Marriage Encounter group met last night and we are made up of mostly older couples, who are still struggling with, working on & choosing to love in our couple relationships. And you are absolutely right: it’s not too late!

    I love your paragraph: “More time to catch fireflies, more time to swim, more time to marvel at the stars, more time to play on the playground, more time to fall in love all over again, more time to wonder about God. It’s not too late today, right this second.” Enjoying together time – even the less exciting tasks, like mulching.

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