It all comes back to time. To timelines. Time travels along that continuum. We stand at point zero and time stretches back, to our past, and forward towards our future. Both are bright and clear, both are gray and hazy. Both are known and unknown.
I know, you are scratching your head, wondering how could a past, a life already lived, be similar to a future, the unknown steps leading forward? But both contain events that we either remember – or look forward to – and the way we remember them – or foresee them. Both are bright and clear at times. Both are gray and hazy at times.
I’ve been working on timelines this year both in my personal life and in my professional life. The length of my personal timeline (62 years and counting) was getting full. Thank goodness! But a full life of events leads to confusion. When did this happen, who was there for that? So I decided to create a timeline and start placing events on it so I could straighten them out. Clear them up.
In school, my students were presenting their timelines. They happily sat before a computer camera, me lifting, lowering and moving left to right their gigantic (on camera at least) poster boards full of 7 to 9 life events. All the appropriate “Awwwwws’ at the emergence of adorable baby pictures and “Ooooohs” at the trophies, trips, and triumphs. And then came Maddie’s timeline.
Maddie, you see, is my little horsewoman. Her timeline began with baby Maddie and Maddie’s first day at school (bigger brother by her side). But then Maddie’s timeline became my memories. Maddie riding her first horse, Maddie standing on a horse for the first time, Maddie cantering and jumping for the first time. “Maddie,” I said, “You are a mini-Mrs. Scannell!” Maddie beamed! “Maybe you will even grow up to be a teacher! You would be a wonderful teacher.”
So what does Maddie’s future hold. What will be on the rest of her timeline?
You see where I am going now? Each of us sees those future events on our timeline. They are both bright and clear and gray and hazy. We know with bright certainty that certain events will occur, the are clearly in our path. We just can’t yet tell how they will play out. That is the gray and hazy part. Just like those life events from a long time ago (or even last year). We know they occurred, the memory is bright and clear, there are just some gray and hazy bits.
We even plan things on our future timelines don’t we? Vacations, weddings, celebrations, chores, outings, shopping trips, all are there, reaching out before us, bright and clear. The gray and hazy bits are the exciting ones. The ones we also dread. But they are there, waiting for us to catch up to them.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to plot out the events of our future? Continue the timeline forward? Because time lives on a continuum and we are traveling right along with it. But, come on, who has the time to do this. Certainly not we humans. Because time also flies!