July 19, 2018
” Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a reverery, amidst the pines and hickories, and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sing around or flitted noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveller’s wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time.” Henry David Thoreau
Can you actually imagine doing that in this day and age? Henry David Thoreau, well loved American author, lived this life which is why he could write about it. When we read this does it make us feel something? It almost seems absurd in this day and age that we would be able to have the time to “spend” time this way. When reading this back over, we can almost visualize ourselves in the house, listening to the birds flutter through, looking at the trees and transposing ourselves into that scenario. It seems peaceful, calm, still and sensible. Do our souls crave more of this almost unimaginable existence or experience? Can we truly justify getting up, taking a bath (not a shower), sitting alone (for all you moms and dads out there!) in your doorway until noon (what would the neighbors think?) and be totally unaware of the time until the sun was falling (not setting). Oh my! What a day that would be! Honestly, how many could admit to a day like that?! When have we even entertained the thought of eve Henry David Thoreau’sr embracing a day similiar to that? Where do we even find an environment in this day and age that would provide such solitude, serenity and inactivity? It seems unimaginable to most of us I’m sure!
When trying to even think about “spending” a day in solitude or in nature just sitting mindlessly we would probably see it as a “waste” of time. It makes one wonder if Henry David Thoreau’s generation saw sitting,enjoying nature, peace, serenity and solitude as something normal and part of a rythym of life. Are we missing it? What happens to our minds, our souls and our bodies when we get in nature and take time out? Do we not know the reality of this because it seems so far from the world we live in, that it’s almost laughable to us?
There is so much competing for our time but; time is time. Everyday we all have the same amount of it. After reading this passage of how Henry David Thoreau chose to spend his time that day, does it make us think for just a minute, of how time is spent? Does it put a different spin on time for us? Is time controlling us or are we controlling time if there is even such a thing!? Is time its own entity; its own boss? What is time and how do we view it? How does it make us feel? Does it make us anxious, relaxed, sad, happy or do we really not think about it too much? After reading this, does it make us want to give more thought and attention to it?
Has time become something different compared to a hundred years ago? Does it have the same elements as giving and taking? Can we define it or capture it? Does it have a place of importance and value in our lives? Do we wrestle with it and try to hold onto it or does it allude us never to return? Does it come and go with regrets and/or anticipation? Are we cognizant of its power and space? What do we believe, think, interpret, or feel about the elusive time thing? Can we explain time and its effects on our lives? Are we allowing time to work for us, against us, with us or through us? Is this something we even take “time” to think about or even let our minds peruse on?
So in actuality, now that we’ve somewhat exhausted this “time thing”, are we embracing our time in a “Henry David Thoreau” style or is it something of a foreign idea or thought? Should we maybe just stop for a day, truly stop, and “command” our time if that is even possible? Ask yourself, what would that look like and what effects on my life would that have? We don’t know how much time we have, but we do know what we do know and that is; for this moment, I have THIS moment and hopefully many more to come. The accumulation of moments adds up to time; time well “spent” or not. Take your moments, add them up and “spend” them wisely! Think on these things…
~ Jacqui Griffith