An Ode to Time
Occasionally I sit and think about time, beyond its literal sense, challenging the enigma that it is. I attempt the unfeasible by tackling this abstraction beyond its primitive form of the past, the present, and the future. Upon reflection, I refuse to believe that time is merely a timepiece and a meek reference to any given moment of our lives. Time is a very profound concept.
It seems like only yesterday that my niece Ama was born, when I was still apprehensive about holding her in my arms for fear that I might break the newborn’s delicate bones. Six months after her birth, I traveled in the summer to check up on her and truly, to get a fresh air after a 4-year wavering high school career.
When I saw her not in her cradle, but on the floor nibbling vigorously on a remote control, I did not know how to feel. On one hand, I wanted her to remain an infant because her fragility and innocence warmed my heart. But I also desired for her to grow, to grow fast in an unforgiving world where everyone and especially the weak is vulnerable; so that I could play a small part in her growth.
As she continued gnawing tirelessly at the device, I sat close to her admiring the beauty of time. I too was a baby once, tiny and weak. Ama finally smiled at me and in her mouth, I caught a glimpse of her first baby tooth. Time is supreme.
Time is being mindful of the opportunities that life grants to all of us and striving to seize them and never letting go. It’s the realization of one’s innate gift, which manifests itself so effortlessly. It’s waking up every day with a sense of purpose toward and against destiny. It’s the unknown, the defeat and sometimes the loneliness, that we encounter in the pursuit of these opportunities.
“Nothing is impossible” is not merely an adage
Still, time is the eventual victory of mankind over the seemingly impossible. It’s being able to ultimately reach one’s apex and realizing that nothing is impossible is not merely an adage, but the common route we must inevitably employ towards victory.
Time is the the conquest of love
Time is the muse for the courage to explore that feeling we are incapable of describing. It’s the ecstasy of an escapade and an innocent first kiss. It’s the voice that whispers “trust, your fear is not real”. It marks the journey towards self-discovery and the occasional self-doubts.
It’s all the Machiavellian men that she’d ever loved during this journey and the frivolous women that he must succumb to. Yet, time is the triumph of the eventual discovery of love; a love that cannot be explained away; one impossible to replicate; a love in its truest form.
Time is what we despise because time, as Chinua Achebe implied, is like:
“beginning life anew without the vigor and enthusiasm of youth, like learning to become left-handed in old age”.
While most of us gain wisdom and a more potent sense of control of our destiny as we age, so do we lose the ability and consequently, the interest for some of our former passions; so insignificant becomes, sometimes, our very own apex for which we conquered the impossible to achieve.
That’s because time is life’s greatest equalizer disguised as a Trojan horse and its most effective weapon is death. It’s once more becoming like Ama, weak and vulnerable. Yes, time is realizing how ephemeral the individual is within her community which always survives her.
Time is the friendships that have been made and those that should have been avoided. It’s the tragedies that we are subject to and the small bubble that we all live in. It’s the hero who is forgotten by the community. It’s the demon that despite our struggle to grasp to true self, reveals the chameleon in each of us. In spite of everything, time is not our enemy — it’s simply the master our lifetime.