A Brief Reflection on Passing Time!

London clock. Copyright ©2008 Steve Lubetkin. Used by permission.
London clock. Copyright ©2008 Steve Lubetkin. Used by permission.

Way back in the 1970’s, my dad bought a place on the east coast of Florida, on the ocean. It was to be their escape place, a kind of haven as they got older. I remember the first time I visited, we want to a new restaurant that he loved. Fast forward many years and my family found us also creating an escape place in the same town. And, for many reasons, continued to go to this same restaurant, sometimes even sitting at the same table as that 1st visit. It was always there whenever we came back. Always consistent. And now gone. My wife and I were driving by there the other day and noticed a construction sign. SO we drove to see and found, much to our surprise, the notice that this stalwart was no longer. Gone forever, to be replaced by offices and, most likely, some yuppied “up scale” tapas, cocktail millennial “hot spot”.
As we both sat in what was once the parking lot, I got me thinking again of the relativity of much of what we hold to be constant. We live long enough to see much of what was true, gone. We take so much for granted and then, in blink of an eye, it is gone: places, people, who knows? I know for many, this little incident may seem trivial, but for some reason seeing the end of this place–and all it meant–seemed to reinforce the fact that so much of what we hold dear is also so transient. And that led to thinking that,, in the end, we are all transient in a way, and thus, what are the truths that really matter.
Perhaps this is may be mid-summer rambling. But, it also is a reflection on the fact that, as we get a little older, to value those people and things that come to mean so much. I am a believer in the importance and power of relationships. In the end, these relationships are the glue of our life. I will miss this place. It always reminded me of my dad. Memory remains a relationship that is eternal.
Rabbi Richard F Address


  1. In reaction to your posting, I offer the following poem I wrote over ten years ago:


    There they are
    Playfully building a sand-castle
    On the beach
    My wife, my son, my daughter
    A sand-castle
    That will last
    What? A few hours?
    Only until high tide
    Washes it all away.
    Not much longer than that
    Not fifteen years
    Definitely not that long
    Not even twelve years.

    Soon my son will be a young man
    Creating his own world
    My daughter, one day
    Will grow to be a woman
    Busy with life and love
    We probably won’t
    Build sand-castles any more
    And my wife and I
    May be just too old
    To shlep our beach chairs
    To the ocean.
    So for these moments
    Enjoy the building of
    A castle in the sand
    Imbibe the holiness of this special moment
    Before all is washed away
    Leaving only trace remnants of its eternal presence.

    Simcha Raphael, Ph.D.
    Ship Bottom, NJ
    August 29, 2003

  2. Beautiful words and oh so true, Richard… Thanks for the morning reflection as I sit with my nearly 94 yr old mother in the ER after another fall, but grateful for every moment together..

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