I lost time ! 

So many plans. So much to accomplish but the late autumn day had slipped away. This was not the first occasion when I had failed to accomplish my goals. Too often, I was beginning to begin—but never beginning. A very human trait. However, a quick look at the clock and I realized all was not lost. It was only 4:30 PM. There was still time. Time for a game of tennis. Time to turn over the garden and prepare for next year’s harvest of sunflowers. Perhaps, in spite of a chill saturating the air, I might even embark in my canoe for one final paddle. The lake was calm. Fish feed at day’s end. Bass might be lurking off the point.

Only 4:30 PM, but when I ventured outside, darkness had descended. I had forgotten that at this season the days are shorter and, at 4:30, night had crept over the horizon and vanquished the sun.

Time lost. Not to be redeemed. The day had ended.

What is the explanation for shorter days? Why has night advanced so swiftly?

According to scientists, the tilt of the earth away from the sun increases as the earth revolves through the seasons. This was the season of the greatest tilt, therefore, the shortest days. I could move to the equator. Less tilt, more sunlight. On the other hand, what if I moved to the North Pole where I would be immersed in total darkness for 24 hours!

There is a second reason for the early darkness. I lost one hour when I turned the clocks back, except for a grandfather clock that my parents bought a hundred years ago. This clock, tired, loyal, does not want me to reset the pattern of its chimes and, after all these years, I respect the clock’s wishes. Otherwise I may need to bring the clock to the repair shop as has happened in the past. So I do have one timepiece that cheats.

Time lost.

Forgive my somewhat  melancholy thought  but it is appropriate to this season when leaves relinquish their grasp on the ancient oak tree and winter storm clouds form above Pharaoh mountain. What is the take away? Perhaps that premature darkness can inspire us to be more cognizant of an eternal verity—no matter who we are, our time is limited. Darkness intercedes. Who among us fulfills all their dreams and hopes? The days of our years may end long before we are ready. Therefore, savor each day fully. Live fully. Love fully.

In the words of Ecclesiastes: “To everything there is a season. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest that which is planted. A time to seek and a time to lose.”

A time to lose. Please, do not lose time.  Above all, do not lose time. Do not let the minutes slip away.

Brant Lake

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