There are many constructs floating around within our experiences that are not meant to be ours to hold. Yet, human nature fights against the natural flow of the “should” and “shouldn’ts”, and we wind up stuck in the quicksand of our own fruition. Try as we might, we overthink ourselves into the same unhelpful traps that distract from the bigger picture of our purpose.
I grew up mulling over the construct of time. Paying mind to the dutiful way my Grandfather poised his watch to face inwardly on his weathered left wrist. Without missing a beat, he would methodically check this small, ticking trinket that would cue him to various acts throughout his mundane day. Check the mail, eat the meal, make the drink, watch the show, head to bed. What powers this little watch seemed to possessed over the nature of my Grandfather’s steps. As a kiddo, I’d playfully envision invisible puppet strings dictating his moves. He was most comfortingly predictable.
I sit here now feeling the weathered leather of his watch bands beneath my fingers.
While time decided that my Grandfather go reunite with his bride of 60+ years, I am left with one of his most treasured trinkets. When I hold this watch within my grasp, I can close my eyes and imagine his strong grip envelope my own.
Time, come to find out, was just a melody within my grandfather’s world he soulfully respected. He recognized the wild nature of it and faithfully trusted that time could rely on itself. Time was not his to manipulate or control, instead it was as free as a songbird. Meant to dance to its own tempo. My grandfather was merely a spectator to its beat.
I am allowing myself to marinate in the lessons my grandfather passed on in the form of this watch.
Tears cascade quietly down my cheeks as I tighten my grip on the memories.
I am learning that time does not require manipulation. It need not to be controlled but to be embraced.
Time is a gift.
Time grants permission for memories, healing, and growth.
Time cultivates life and purpose.
We’ve memorized the tempo of its methodical ticking, but for all the wrong reasons. We humans crave control in a fierce and unrelenting way. It’s addictive and perspective-altering, creating a false sense of security and breeds idealistic expectations. Control interrupts the tempo of time to the point of getting to a metaphorical finish line and realize we forgot to pause and breathe in the moments that mattered.
My grandfather danced to the melodies of time. He rode the tempos of the highs and lows, he treasured the quiet moments, and embraced the twists and turns that ensued. He sought to focus on the beauty of the uncontrollable nature of time, and reaped a fulfilling life as a result. He carried each day and honored the time that allotted him his influences and here-says. He thanked time for its gift of practicing resiliency and exercising his voice in a way that would leave an impression.
This watch has taught me an awful lot.
Mostly due to the man it was connected to.
Here’s to dancing to the melodies of time instead of embarking on a quest to control it.
Thank you for an incredibly powerful lesson in mindfulness and seeking beauty in all the unusual places.