It was just like old times. This morning, as I walked from the vestry to the front of the church and turned to face the congregation, thirteen years of my life seemed to vanish and I was back in the last days of my curacy, just before I left to become vicar of three neighbouring parishes.
An awful lot has happened in my life since then – two more grandsons, another move to a group of parishes in England, my second cancer diagnosis and finally retirement and the move back to Wales – but just at that moment it was as though all of that had never happened.
But of course it wasn’t just like old times. Faces I had known well were missing and new faces had taken their place. Like me, the people I still know are older and greyer and probably just as creaky. Yet none of that mattered as we went through the service together and talked nineteen to the dozen over coffee afterwards. Until their new vicar is appointed, I’ll be helping out from time to time at this church, so time will probably play more tricks on me.
Time can be so elastic, sometimes snapping back to hide the intervening years, yet in other circumstances it can stretch out endlessly, making a day or even an hour feel like an eternity. Sometimes we have too much of it and at others not enough, and I’ve certainly been experiencing a new shortage of time as I find myself wanting to fit music practice at least once into every day.
The trouble is I’m hooked. I really, really want to learn to play the clarinet, so I’m starting to rearrange other things to make time for regular practice, even finding my blog-reading and writing time being eaten into. I need time to do its stretching trick, so that I can have enough for everything. However, I doubt time will be so accommodating, so I’ll just have to make better use of the normal daily allowance. If DD, with all her work and family commitments can do it, surely I, a retired woman of leisure, can manage it. From now on my new motto had better be ‘Seize the day’.
Images via Google