As I sit here and look back, I find it hard to center my thoughts on one time, one place, even just one year. Then I start looking even farther back and can’t help but go back generations. Back to the lives that came before ours, to the successes and failures of those who came before that even and yet to this day, shape our lives. When going on a picnic on a sunny golden afternoon where the grass is rippled by a breeze playing hide and seek in it’s blades or washing the dishes on a Tuesday evening as the landscape gets obscured in the settling dusk, it can be hard to realize the events that effect us go back to times we will never travel in and to lives of men we never met.
Yet even if I take couple steps forward in the history books, to just the few years I have lived, I can’t help but think of all sorts of situations and circumstances that have had a hand in shaping the models I look through like lenses, to view my world. As time flows, we go right along with the current, picking up and leaving things behind as we move along with the never ending current for we surely can’t keep a hold of everything. When looking back, I can’t help but ask the question, “What are the important things to remember and hold close to, as one tosses and turns in the current?” The current that started back before I ever fell into it and will continue on long after I am pulled out.
I start at a place I know well, before I was even aware of the current gently pulling me along. I was but a child and besides breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime, time had not yet got a firm hold on me. Slowly though, as I grew older, I was no exception and as time trickled on I began to get swept away in the current. As I passed new places and met new people, I started to become aware.
As I grew, the water seemed intent on keeping up, the water got deeper and the current stronger or perhaps it was the other way round and I grew to keep up with the current. Regardless, as I sat around the dinner table with my family, I began to hear first the stories of my parents’ childhoods and then my grandparents’ and their history became mine. It was mine, the good and the bad all combined in events that would eventually lead me to better understand the people I held dear and how we all ended up living the life we have together.
As I floated at times and bobbed at others, I began making stories of my own to add to my parents and grandparents that will be told someday to my own children. Then once again, as the water swirled and bubbled, I became fascinated with the lives of generations reaching far beyond anyone I could hold a conversation with. Place and lands I had to be contented to read about. Though to some, this appears a dull task, I eagerly learned about these events and people that came long before.
I discovered the mistakes and success of theirs where not all that different than yours and mine. Although time had coursed down the hillsides of many mountains and through many plains since their journeys, with it, each of the landscapes competed with the same winds, rains and basked in the same beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Allowing those traveling later on, the ability to navigate past the ever lurking rocks midstream, to quieter waters, with less branches reaching out to snare if they would just take a moment to look back.
As I look backwards to the journey others took in the river of time, I come to realize that although the discovery of new continents and one country’s victory over another country in wars affect us, it is also the daily decisions of the men who founded those countries and the lives of the men who fought those wars, that help us truly understand the channels we are currently drifting in and how we can better navigate them.
Thus as I sometimes drift and sometime surge in the river of time. I make a point to look back every now and then to evaluate the course others have taken, the streams I have gone down as I continue my journey down the ever flowing and never ceasing river of time that so many have got swept away in, while others have learned to float on amid the rocks that seek to pull them under. I can but journey on as I remember and learn from those who have gone before as I seek to sail afloat despite the rocks we all must face.
Moving Along With The Ever Flowing River of Time,