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A Slippery Fish

Time is a slippery fish. Perhaps the most slippery of them all. Just when you think you’ve got a good hold, time gets away again.

But memory is a map made entirely of landmarks. As you move through year after year, your mind and body turn the corners of those landmark days, often without your conscious notice.

My niece begins her trek to college today. I will give her air hugs from my porch this evening so as not to transmit the in-house COVID case to her. So sweet. A little bitter. A new landmark growing up entwined with an older one.

Today is also the day my nephew died a dozen years ago. The last time he spoke to me was the evening his family ate pizza at my house before he set off for basic combat training. That night was so sweet and a little bitter. Today twelve years ago was swallowed in bitterness.

My niece was almost six then.

Time is a slippery fish.

I cannot tell you the fullness of this family’s story. We are all threads of variegation woven into a tapestry without fully appreciating our unique necessity to the design. I can tell you that no thread ever ends. Every thread is carried forward by connection to the others.

For one brief day, two threads hold the space. They are beautiful. All the more because they share a landmark in our family’s tapestry and our individual memories.

The advantage of age is that you’ve moved through more of the tapestry. You become more aware of the rhythms of the weaving. Years begin to glide by as one landmark after another has its turn.

Time is a slippery fish.

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