Playing For Time


Musings / Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Time is one of the most-used words in our life. We hear it all the time. See? I wrote ‘time’ in that previous sentence without realizing it.

“I don’t have time.” – As if we are all walking around with this mysterious person/thing called Time and every now and then, it goes missing.

“It will take time.” – As if we have to buy this mysterious commodity.

“Time will heal.” – Now, Time turns into Dr. Time.

“Time is precious.” – And what isn’t?

“It isn’t the right time, or it’s the wrong time.” – When did we attach a judgement to this time?

One of the memes I liked on the Internet, wrongly attributed to the Buddha, was this:

The trouble is: We all think we have time.

Poor time. It doesn’t even exist, and here we are basing our whole life, maladies, and recoveries on it!

I have come to ponder that over the past few weeks. I realized that there are certain things in our life we lose because we think we have time – people, moments, experiences, and then, life itself. Because what is life if not time?

My Mondays are usually chaotic, much like yours is, I imagine. For me, Monday doesn’t seem to have 24 hours. I feel it has only some 10 hours . This Monday was even more chaotic than usual. My mind was swirling with work, the commute, visits to banks for some documents, and visits from a myriad number of people who wanted to all come at different ‘times’ for installation of something or the other in my apartment. I woke up in that rush, didn’t meditate, finished my workout, and scrambled out. It was early at the Metro parking lot, but it was already filling up fast. I usually chat with the attendants or share a smile. But today, I was too stressed. I grabbed the ticket, swung into the parking lot, parked the car, and then reached out to take my backpack and purse when suddenly, just next to me, I saw this:

This beautiful little guest who traveled with me.

There he was, all color and life, glistening like diamonds in the sun. I kept my purse back. I couldn’t leave him in the car. I picked him up, and then just like that, he started to crawl over my palm.

For a moment, I forgot all about time. I sat back, relaxing against my seat. Many years ago, as a kid, I used to play with ants similarly. I would sit in the backyard and have an ant crawl up and down my arm. I hadn’t done that in all these years. Yet, today, on a day I thought I don’t have time, I realized that I do. Me and this little fella played along for a while.

He was sedate in his exploration of my hand. And I sat back. I didn’t have to rush like this. We are not all as harried as we think we are. We can take a moment here and there. Many moments. Minutes ticked by. More cars swung into the parking lot. Their owners picked up their backpacks too and hurried off to the Metro station.

I opened the car door finally and shook the fella off my hand. He fell to the ground with a crash. “No, no!” I thought, horrified that I had killed him. “Can’t you fly, you idiot?” He couldn’t. So I picked him up, and gently laid him down on the ground again, where he started crawling again. I heaved a sigh of relief. I turned to the car to pick up my backpack, and when I looked back, I couldn’t see him again. I worried about him. I hoped that cars won’t crush him or unheeding feet smother him. He and I shared this moment in time. And I know that it was a gift from the Universe – asking me to just slow down and be, for a moment. Sometimes, that’s all the healing we need.

May your day have no time.

3 Replies to “Playing For Time”

  1. He is so, so, so beautiful! I love his glistening emerald green, and his shiny carapace that practically glitters. So glad that you had a moment with this tiny fellow. Sometimes it’s things like this that makes your day.

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