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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Timeless

Watching the sun go down is one of summer's sweet pleasures. At the lake we like to tell time by the sun. "It's one hour 'till sunset, time to go fishing."

On vacation I try to let go of time and fall into the rhythm of the rising and setting of the sun. Easier said than done when your book is on a tablet and time is ever-present in its margins.

I wonder if my children view their world differently with their digital interpretation of time? When I answer their request for the time with five till ten, they pause and reply, "no it's not, it's 9:56."

One summer as children, my brother and I were quite bored and had seemingly endless time to spare. We each created a sun dial in the sand and calibrated the hours over the period of an afternoon. I remember watching the shadow of the gnomon stick creep slowly to the next marker. Now my daughter informs me you can get a sun dial on your iPod, but it's boring. ("It takes forever and you can use a flashlight instead and cheat.")

When my children were younger I could entice them into sitting with me and watching as the sunset turned from orange to red, peach and finally deep blue lined in green. Now they are too busy at sunset playing wii, playing with a friend or watching TV. The slow, quiet beauty of the sunset seems lost to them.

Am I romanticizing my childhood experience when I wish my children could experience something similar to my sundial? Or am I mourning the loss of closeness I felt with them they were young? I'll know better by the end of the summer if I haven't had at least one still, timeless moment with each of my children. It doesn't have to be sunset, but time on the hammock will do.

 Where do you experience timeless moments?