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