Father Time and Me

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

I saw him approaching. An ancient man, bent, dressed in black and carrying the symbolic scythe.  I recognized him immediately. My heart pounded. It’s too soon, I thought. I’m not ready.

He sat down on the bench beside me in the garden behind the house. I had fed the birds and was enjoying a few minutes outside – the winter day sunny and mild.  There were so many, chirping and arguing over the sunflower seeds – their favorite. They flew away when he came into view. He looked at me, but said nothing. After what seemed like forever, the silence deafening, I decided to speak. I turned, looked at him and began…

“Time passes so quickly
It’s what we all say,
The good things don’t last,
The hard things – they stay.

Every day, every week,
Each month and each year
Bring challenges and lessons,
Things I don’t want to hear.

Now as I grow old
I want to stop Time.
No More! is my mantra,
Let Contentment be mine!

Let the things that I treasure
And the people I hold dear
Be with me, I pleaded
At least – for this year”!

Then – the sounds of his laughter.
“How foolish you are!
To think you can stop me,
Put Time in a jar”!

I sighed.

“ How can I go on
Knowing what’s likely in store?
I lack the strength
To handle any more!

Poor health, death of loved ones,
And always the fear
That some night I’ll see you
And your footsteps I’ll hear.

You will whisper IT’S TIME
I won’t have a choice.
In that moment so final
I won’t have a voice”!

He looked at me, not unkindly.

“It’s true, my dear Carole
You can’t control me.
But the choice that you have
Is clear. Don’t you see?

You must live every moment
As if it’s your last.
Savor your Time!
Don’t live in the past!”

You have to be brave!
You need to believe
That Time still has value –
Not just to grieve

But to love and to wonder,
To seek beauty and peace.
To be useful and caring.
Life doesn’t just cease

Until your last breath
Take in all that remains.
The pleasures and joys.
The heartaches and pains.

After all, that is Life!
Surely you know
The purpose of living
Is to continue to grow”!

And then…He was gone.

I sighed with relief.
I had to make haste.
For I suddenly knew
I had no Time to waste!

Carole Leskin


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