Because Time Flies
Time is a finicky thing. But precious. It’s importance in the sphere of our lives cannot be overstated. From the moment we breathe our first breath to our last, our lives are defined by this measure of moments, minutes and years.
Tonight, as we stand on the cusp of 2020, teetering on the edge not only of a new year but a new decade, I am swimming in a thick, syrupy, warm sea of nostalgia. Like most of you I am looking ahead excitedly to the year, praying that I am able to live each moment of this new year well, with intention, love and grace. I am committing to lofty goals for the next circle around the sun. Next to these big goals are the smaller ones but equally as important, like eat less sugar, paint your toenails, accept the reality of crows feet, eat more sunrise patties, listen to more Patsy Cline. But on this New Year’s Eve, I am also drawn to the forest green book that sits heavily on our coffee table and has for the last 10 years. In July 2008, a kind lady named Gloria telephoned to book a few nights at the Cliffhouse. She didn’t share a great deal about her plans while visiting Newfoundland, only saying that she was looking forward to a quiet visit. A few days later, Gloria arrived. Introspective and reflective, Gloria did share that she was living in Chicago, needed a few days away and felt that Branch would provide a restful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the Windy City. For those few days, Gloria did not stir. She sat in the living room, drank tea, read, even had her supper with us. No visit to the Cape, no questions about local attractions. She was resting. Looking back now, Gloria was a combination of the Holy Spirit, Angela Lansbury and Elizabeth Gilbert. A few weeks later, in August 2008, a sturdy package arrived in the mail. I opened the box only to find a green book and a note from Gloria thanking us for our hospitality, saying that she thought I would enjoy this book. The green book. The green book has been a central part of life for me since January 1st, 2009. It is, in fact, a 10 year journal. Each page allows an entry for ten years. Published by a company called Because Time Flies, the journal has recorded about 3600 days, the last decade. I haven’t written in the journal every single day but most days have seen a note describing the happiest part of that day. Some highlights: July 1, 2009 –Walking with Mrs. Rita Roche in her garden, leaving laden with beautiful flowers. September 2, 2010-Jumping on a trampoline with Owen while he drank tea. May 21 2011 – Celebrating John and Mike getting married. July 13, 2011 – Learning that ukulelalien is a word. November 5, 2014-Seeing Pope Francis up close and personal. April 7, 2016 – Visiting Fatima and feeling the holiness of the Blessed Virgin February 25, 2017- Cheering for the boys as they won the basketball regionals. July 14, 2017-Watching AnneMarie and Leonard tie the knot October 8, 2018- The Cape Camino –walking to the Cape before sunrise December 29, 2019 - Visiting one of my favourite places on the planet, the Foxes’ Knob with my favourite person, Chris and sharing tea and fruitcake And there are others, a few thousand days described in this book. Most are descriptions all of the every day-the ordinarily beautiful. Gloria did a great service by taking the time to put this book in the mail. She bestowed not only a journal but a record of happiness. If by some miracle of technological connection and Christmas wonderment Gloria reads this blog, all I can say is thank you thank you thank you. The word of the year for 2019 is existential. It’s an edgy word, more haughty than friendly but an important one, insisting that we reflect on our place and purpose in this world. As simple as it might be, recording and reflecting on the moments that make up our lives, can help us answer those big questions. It leads us into a practice and life of gratitude. I heard a radio announcer call this new decade “the roaring 20s.” I hope that for you, it is whatever you need it to be, the peaceful 20s, the adventurous 20s, the spiritual 20s, the living 20s, the generous 20s, the healthy 20s. May you feel the beauty and goodness in your life and may you meet your own Gloria.