Taking time

In childhood, every day seemed to last so long.  Adolescence lived among the detail of the world.  (Or maybe I’m mistaken.  Maybe that’s the myth that we perpetuate.)


Now, I barely see the world around me.  Life is in my head or in a meeting room, lost among a veil of words and numbers, meaningless to the simple boy who marvelled at the stars.  I stare into a screen, beating keys while, unseen, the minutes stream away outside; hours, days and weeks.  Soon years have passed.


I try to think of moments when I stopped to watch the moon above a chimney-pot, or bent to count the petals on a daisy in the rain.


I close my eyes and see myself beside a river.  Staring at the curving tip.  Following the current’s swirl, watching eddies turning twigs beneath a bush – barely noticing the softness of a vole slipping from the bank.


I recall the ticking diesel of the night-freight standing on the bridge, waiting for its signal.  Yellow light within the cab.  Exhaust rasping lazily in the darkness.  Sound of sleigh-bells ringing from the vents.  No hurry.


I’m sitting on my basket – still and slightly tensed against the cold – mind gently turning boyish thoughts as dogs bark a mile away within some sleeping farm.


I see the train ease off, barely changing note – an easy tempo fading from the scene.  But nothing by the river’s still.  Water gossips as it hurries past.  The grassy bank’s alive with busy sounds of night.  I rub my eyes and reel in for another cast.  Time barely moves, like branches of the willow – an endless night stretching, like the river, to eternity.


Maybe it’s because I didn’t want to change the world, or know the measure of its girth.  Or maybe it’s because I hadn’t learned to sell my time to pay for all my dreams, and all of time was mine.


Copyright Kevin Buckle 2014

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