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It feels as if Spring has arrived a month early! This morning the birds outside my bedroom window announced the new day with gusto as the sun crept over the mountain. The dappled shade through the leafless trees created a quilt of autumn colours on the leaves.

As I get older, I am more and more aware of the change in season. (Perhaps because of the aches and pains that came with the freezing winter weather – that old knee injury and a broken rib that felt so much worse in the cold weather!) But it is also an awareness of time passing, and an urgency to get more and more done.

Being a student, working alone at home I am baffled by the passing of time. When I dedicate time to writing, I battle to commit to an hour of solid writing before I have a promised break. Yet, before I know it the break is 45 minutes instead of the planned ten minutes. I start panicking knowing the deadline is looming, and not wanting to “waste” time. Yet I can while away hours just sitting, staring out the window.

How would our lives be without deadlines, tasks to complete, bills to pay, shopping to do, gardens to prune, children to feed, friends to entertain, weekends away and nights out on the town? How would time lapse when it is dictated by breakfast, lunch, or supper? What happens in the empty spaces between lunch and supper? What would be our first thoughts waking up to a day where there is nothing planned, no deadlines to work towards, no reason to be somewhere, and no one expecting us? A day stretched out ahead, empty?

If I think how busy my mind is just planning and thinking about what lies ahead for the day, the week, and the rest of the month. Thinking of the December holidays, when next will I visit my parents, the social calendar seems to be filled to capacity. I think of everything I still need to do. Getting t, getting more sleep, planning a healthier diet, and getting my research done. What would fill my mind if I had none of these whirling around in my mind?

I know that as we grow older we start looking back more, and definitely we look inward in reflection and contemplation…we take stock. That means that whatever I am doing now, filling the filing cabinets with folders of stuff will be the things that I retrieve in my reflection and contemplation. I will think back on my family, and most probably regret that I didn’t visit my parents more often when they are no longer here. But I will have memories, feelings and thoughts gathered through a life of being connected, being part of a social circle of loving friends, too much wine and more than enough laughter. Tears of loss and tears of joy, seeing newborn babies and saying goodbye to old friends.

And whilst I know that I might get to a point where I forget names and places that I visited, I know that somewhere in my consciousness there will be these feelings of contentment, layer upon layer of them forming a solid foundation of BEING. A place where I will no longer crave DOING, a place where I will sit comfortably with my lifetime’s worth of connections.

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