I recently dreamed I was a realtor showing a house to some eager buyers. It wasn’t any ol’ house, though. There was something special about it. I had spent my imperative teenage years living in it with my family.
As we walked through the house, I noticed each room looked vastly different. It had been remodeled to the point that I hardly recognized the place I once lived in – cried in, laughed in, grew in.
That’s the thing with time: it repurposes everything you once knew. What remains, for a while, is the foundation and structure of a moment, location, or relationship, but time reassembles the space within. And, eventually, it even deconstructs the entire infrastructure of the past, leaving only the intangible memory of what was.
I felt an urge to cry in the dream. The consistency of time makes it hard to detect in the moment, and therefore it doesn’t always feel real. Time typically works quietly in the background, so when it reveals its steady progress over a long period of time, it’s startling. We find ourselves astonished, and especially sentimental, by the evolution of our own lives that occurred somehow beyond our awareness.
I’m usually unsure how I feel about time. When it brings gifts, it’s my best friend. And quickly it becomes my enemy when it takes those very gifts away. But what I do know about time is that without it, there would be no story. Time is the very definition of life; it’s the composer that carefully unites melodies to produce a symphony.
And in that case, isn’t time something to appreciate… something to simply admire? I don’t believe there’s anything more meaningful about life than the stories – yours, mine, ours – that it composes.
Which leads me to think: of all this chatter and confusion about the purpose of it all, have you ever thought that we’re simply members of an audience, here to take it all in with wonder and amazement?