“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” — Harvey MacKay
Time Always Runs Out
A few years back I planned a trip to Maine. I left in early May with the goal of reaching the state’s Atlantic Coastline before the puffins, the sandpipers, the plovers and other shore birds migrated south. Too much dawdling along the way made me arrive two weeks too late.
It was a missed opportunity that most likely will never come again. At the same time, my dawdling along the way visiting places like Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas, the Budwieser Brewery in Missouri, Wolf Park in Indiana, the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan Niagara Falls in New York and many, many other places along the way were memories made that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss either.
I’ve reached the point in my life when I know that there is more time behind me than ahead of me. Accepting this reality has not made me sad, but it has certainly made me more aware of how fleeting time has become.
I remember when it seemed an eternity for each Christmas to arrive, and now it seems like I’ve barely put away the Christmas decorations before it’s time to get them out again.
What got me thinking of time was Tom Brokaw’s book “The Time of our Lives: A conversation about America.” He and I are less than a year apart in age, and we both had journalism careers, although his took him on the big stage in front of a camera and mine took me to a smaller stage on the pages of newspapers.
I once got to interview Tom Brokaw when he visited my smaller stage setting, the memories of which came to the forefront this week when I picked up his book and read the things he pointed out in his preface of having lived through – the moon landing, Vietnam, women stepping out of the kitchen and into the working world, civil unrest as black and white cultures integrated, the riots, the prosperity, the stock market fluctuations, the technology takeover, the continuation of war, and the big bang of the internet.
These were the same things I had lived through and wrote about.
Looked at in this way, I guess I know where time has flown. I wonder what is still ahead for me to experience – as I continue my dawdling ways.