We are allotted a segment of time for life in the physical sense. It may not
be the same for all but like a tool in the hands of a craftsman, the significance is
in how we use it. We have little to guide us except the experiences of our
predecessors and often that is discarded, forgotten or ignored by those in the
vanguard of progress.
We evolve through trial and error, with many failures preceding success.
Collectively we embrace change while cringing at the possibility of its consequences.
That which is best suited to meet the challenges of life is often elusive, yet
we continue to roll the dice, and seek a better way on our journey in time.
Our motivation is self-preservation, our goal is survival but to what end?
Inevitably we will evolve into something we currently are not if successful?
We struggle desperately to preserve what we are so that we might change what
we will be. Are we any different than the
caterpillar whose sole purpose is to become a butterfly and produce more eggs to
hatch into caterpillars?
The creator of life installed a biological imperative for survival and
pro-creation in all things that live. The
mighty oak, the microscopic virus, and man all share the same compulsion.
Life is persistent though never perfected.
Even the irony of lemmings hurling themselves from cliff tops into the sea is
a collective bid for survival. One could say it is part of the script in life’s
play on time’s eternal stage. But where
shall the next act take us?
We have learned much in our brief existence but in doing so discovered an
expanding depth and breadth in our own ignorance.
With each answer we discover a multitude of new questions.
Today’s unknowns were yesterday’s unawares. Tomorrow’s unawares
are not yet our reality but when we discover them they will mold and shape us to deal
with their truth. Just as fish live in
water we live in time. It surrounds us,
shaping and caressing, giving form and substance while providing a medium for life as
it devours us.
These are my perceptions of time and life and are no more valid than yours or
anyone else’s. But like my memories
they are my realities. These days I find
my mind drifting back to what some may call a misspent youth.
One recurring memory is of sultry September days on that dusty red clay field
surrounded by spindly pines and blackberry briars where, Calvin Ramsey and Harry
Logue stood in the shade and presided over boys 8th grade P.E.
There were no football players in that class, at least not for long, so we
didn’t get a lot of close attention from our mentors.
Sometimes we played softball, with no equipment other than a ball and bat.
We used whatever boards or rocks we could find for bases and used landmarks
for foul lines. There were no backstops,
chalk lines, outfield fences or umpires.
Other times it was soccer played with a volleyball provided from the meager
athletic budget. There were no goals or lines defining the field.
If you got into the briar patches or too far into the trees you might be
considered out of bounds some days. Little
did we know then soccer would become popular as a youth sport in The
And then there was football. We
were allowed to play two-hand touch below the waist which usually resulted in a
tackle to remove any doubt. There was no
equipment and half of us didn’t even wear shoes because they would get torn up and
our family’s budgets could not replace them. Early
in September Coaches, Ramsey and Logue, were looking for possible football talent and
was the time we most often played football at P.E.
After they assessed and culled out any potential candidates we were pretty
much left to our own devices unless a fistfight needed to be broken up.
The choking red dust or when it rained oozing red mud on that bare rock strewn
field surrounded by woods and briars had not been consecrated that September long
We all have memories of the past but we didn’t all share the same
perspective. For some the golden years of
high school were a
Time polishes and gives context to our lives and we mark it closely yet
cannot stay its passage. It is also a
Carson, Class of ‘60