It was night, around 10:55. I was contemplating the blank pages of my journal, knowingly deducting hours from my precious sleep for tomorrow’s early trip. I picked up the Word Factory timer that sat on my desk. It was like a mini hourglass encased in a transparent plastic cylinder. Curious, I tried to time the exact number of minutes that the hourglass could time. Yes, “timing the timer” does seem nonsensical, but there are even worse scenarios, right? I could have chatted with random people and flooded them with endless rants, but my phone was in my mom’s cabinet.
I turned the hourglass over and wrote a poem to pass the time. Unconsciously, the poem turned into a mini monologue. I decided that it was time to check on the timer. It was 11:05. How odd, I thought, for the sand to still be halfway drained after 10 minutes. I couldn’t help but notice the stillness of the bottom half of the hourglass.
Then, a sudden realization: “The passageway’s too narrow for the fast-falling sand,” I mumbled in amazement, “It stopped moving.”
I was left in deep thought.
Oh, how I wish that all the time in the world would be like this tiny hourglass! How peculiar it is that after a few minutes, the grains of colored sand would stop moving, and one would not notice until one looked closely and pounded the wooden table with a fist, only to shake the slightest amount of sand in a millisecond. What a privilege that would be, if we had the capability to stop time even in just a fraction of a second. A lot of wrongs would be made right, a malfunction rectified, without anyone else knowing.
That’s the problem nowadays, isn’t it? We ask for more time and lesser activities, more chances and lesser impatience, more rights and lesser wrongs. We keep asking for more do-overs, more replays, and more retries, that we don’t find importance in what could be done right here, right now.
We keep being frustrated about the what-ifs and the should-have-beens, and we let them lead us to our demise. Never do we think that, like this Boggle timer, our time will have eventually stopped without our knowing in the most unexpected circumstances, in which no one will pay attention to one’s disappearance, not until the bang on the table makes them realize that what used to be isn’t anymore.
We’re not in control of time. Because of our rigorous planning and organization, we may presume that we have our whole life planned out: Study hard, graduate, get a job, marry, have kids, grow old, and have a nice retirement. This stereotypical concept of the “perfect life” is not how we define “living.”
I ask you: When was the last time you had a real good laugh with your friends? The last time you hung out with your grandparents? The last time you witnessed the unconditional love of husband and wife? When was the last time you had a time of relaxation for yourself? Was it yesterday? Last week? A month ago? A couple years back?
Think about it. It felt good reminiscing those moments, right?
Now I ask: What would happen when friendship fades, when longevity reaches its full, when marriage is broken, and when sickness brings out your worst? Would you have given much more importance to the ones you love compared to yesterday when you thought that they would last forever?
That’s when we’re wrong. Remember, “You never realize the importance of what you had until it’s gone.” We’re so engrossed in our own endeavors that we forget what is truly
essential in life, and when we realize our errors, we keep wishing for a miracle or for a second chance, or for a hero of sorts. Mistakes are a part of life, but the moment the hourglass stops, will you get another chance to correct them?
We must learn how to value our time. Make memories. Build and strengthen relationships. Know that no grandiose forms of living can compare to the time we spend with the most important people in our life. We will never know when our time, or theirs, will come to an end. Here’s Julia Carney in her poem “Little Things”:
“Little drops of water, little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land.
So the little minutes, humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages of eternity.”
Chloie Lunar, 16, is in Grade 10 at St. Agnes’ Academy.
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