Saturday, October 1, 2011

Birthdays

I'm again musing about the passage of time. Today is the birthday of my youngest child . . . he's 31 years old. Which, I say, is great for him. Right now he's heavily engaged in intellectual pursuit: earning his law degree. He's working hard, and from all indications, enjoying his life.

As is to be expected. The thirties and forties are the best decades, at least from my present perspective. Which doesn't make the other decades of our lives any less good. They are good or bad solely on the basis of our own highly subjective criteria.

But it really doesn't make any difference what we think, time's march is inexorable. When I was 31, I was also heavily engaged in intellectual pursuits. I was a father, husband, and graduate student at LSU. It was the year I got my master's degree. My dear wife was still in her twenties then, and my daughter Tanya was only six. I almost said "little daughter" till I remembered that just the other day she was over with her own daughter, who is nine. That was a long time ago. Time passes, and we pass with it.

The passage of time: it's a phrase that contains the whole of life, the whole of history, the whole of the future within it. Birthdays are but tiny little pricks of light in deep darkness, buoys in a vast, silent ocean.
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