Who Stole the Time
When I was a child, somewhere around ten years of age, I suspected I would never reach the age of adulthood. After all, it took months, very long months, before my birthday ever arrived. And school, well, it went on forever.
I read somewhere that certain school districts are planning to have school year round, with a couple of weeks off every so often. The kids must be going bonkers, to say nothing about what the parents will be enduring.
In my childhood, I had to decide what I was going to do for the summer when school eventually let out. Of course, all my plans went for naught as I ran through them in slightly over a week. After that, I was bored and missed my friends. I was almost ready for school to start. Notice I said, almost. But it was a long three months away.
Christmas was so far in the future, that when Thanksgiving arrived, it was still a whole month away. Do you know how long a month is when you are ten years of age and waiting for Christmas? I think it is somewhere between fact and fiction, heavy on the fiction side.
I recall one year, my mother decided to let me go to my uncle’s farm for two weeks in the summer. I got so excited. I had visited there often but never stayed overnight. But it seemed like the summer would never get here. The days were so long whenever I thought about going out there, and the weeks were even longer. Time was standing still.
Finally, the day arrived. Now, me being a city boy, I knew absolutely nothing about farm life. I never knew that the sun came up so early in the morning. I had the opportunity to witness a sunrise, something I had never seen before. I’m sure you have heard the Ben Franklin quote, early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. After a full day on the farm, I was ready for bed, just not so much on the early to rise part.
I can say definitely that the breakfast was much better than my Post Toasties. I just never ate so early in the morning before. But my uncle said that it was the main meal of the day. I never knew.
I was given chores to do while I stayed with my uncle. They were considerably different from my chores at home. At home, I had to take out the trash every night. And living in a single parent home, I had to help my mother with the dishes. There was no automatic dishwasher. Mom washed and I dried. We never left any dishes in the drainer. They were always dried and put up. When we were finished, I would go outside and play, after my homework was done, or course.
But on the farm, chores never stop. There were chickens to feed. I didn’t know how, but I learned quickly. Here chick, here chick, here chick, chick, chick! That turned into fun. Then, I learned how to gather eggs. That was not fun. First, the old rooster wouldn’t let me into the henhouse. Finally, after chasing him with the hoe, I managed to get in to gather the eggs. But, that was also a problem. Some hens did not want to let me have the eggs. They kept setting on them. I had to reach my hand under them and pick up the eggs. They sometimes would peck me. I sort of dreaded that chore. There were other jobs to do as well. I don’t remember all of them. I guess only the fun things.
Before I went to my uncle’s farm, I waited and waited for the time to come, but after I got there, time passed so fast. I got to thinking, as a child, time seems to pass slowly when waiting for something exciting to happen. I suppose it does for most adults as well. However, as an adult in the autumn of my life, I look back and am more aware, now, that time is very fleeting. I suppose that is why some memories are much more vivid than others are.
While I had other exciting summer pastimes in my youth, those days were the only time I ever spent on a farm. That happened some sixty odd years ago. It seems like yesterday. I wonder,
Who Stole the Time
Years bear on years
Who can really count
When minds are want
To persist in fantasy
in a vain attempt to
Re-discover our youth?
Have those days vanished
Disappeared into oblivion,
Never obtainable again?
Simply etched in
A far corner of the mind
Waiting and wondering
Who stole the time.
Pete Robertson © 2011
Have a great day. It passes only, too quickly.
Time keeps going even if we don’t. Guess I would say in my life ~ time just marches right on ~ good times and happenings a blessing to remember and it carries me along with it.
Have you ever thought of time being like a river with all of us swimming through it ~ some dog paddling, some excellent swimmers, others not so good and so on? Guess it’s the choices we make that help us swim through time. God bless and thanks for the neat poem and introspection. Jackie