Today is the 2nd of October already, how in God’s name is that even possible? I was reminded of a conversation I heard on radio last week, where a former Trinity lecturer of mine Prof Luke O’Neill was discussing time with Pat Kenny. Luke was trying to explain to Pat why time seems to pass much more quickly the older we get. A long story short, it had something to do with relativity, our perception of time and experiences both current and accumulated. Either way the days seem to be travelling at supersonic speed and its quite scary. The beauty about being a child and perhaps one of the reasons why time seems to travel more slowly when you’re young is that very lack of accumulated experience. Every day brings a multitude of fresh new opportunities each one even more fascinating than the last, be it discovering the upstairs in a double decker bus for the first time or making jelly or playing with conkers, everything when you’re a child has a newness like virgin snow.
Parents can often be heard repeating the mantra, ‘if only they stayed so small’. They know the truth about lost innocence and are already mourning its passing even while the little ones are still perplexed by the magic of blowing dandelions. The loss of awe at the world around us seems as inevitable as the ageing process itself and perhaps the acceleration of time as we speed through the decades of adulthood is time’s way of punishing us for not savouring all those little moments like we did as children.
The beauty about children is that they don’t perceive time at all, its an alien concept. What is a minute, two weeks, a year ? Time really means little to a child, because they can’t relate to it. Yes we’re back to relativity, but children are unique in that they don’t ‘do’ time , they don’t live in the past or the future, but in the moment, here and now. Perhaps that’s the secret to slowing time down, elongating each moment by ignoring everything else and living for the now. Perhaps we as adults should ditch yesterday’s baggage and tomorrow’s what ifs and preoccupy ourselves with the main event … the …right.. this..moment.
October the 2nd, doubt there’ll be any dandelions about but the leaves.. those colours right now are incredible…