All the Time in the World

I took the day off yesterday, largely so I could run some errands that never seem to get accomplished on my weekends, and also just because I could. I slept an hour later than usual, spent some quality time with my last surviving kitty boy, Evinrude, and watched a movie over breakfast. A real breakfast, not a hastily cooked (and hastily gobbled) bowl of five-minute oatmeal or a smoothie. And then I took care of my errands — inspections and renewing the registration on my car, if you really must know! And then in the afternoon, I even found time to take a leisurely walk.

It was a beautiful day, one of those late-summer afternoons when knots of slate-colored clouds roll along the edges of the valley, but don’t seem too interested in closing in overhead, and the mild quality of the air makes me feel like I ought to be getting ready to go back to school, even though I finished with that almost 25 years ago. Steve Winwood’s “Back in the High Life Again” started playing on my iPod, something in my chest unclenched, and I realized I don’t have enough days like this. Days with no sense of urgency, no clock ticking away in the back of my head telling me I only have this window of 90 minutes to do what I want, that I only have an hour before I have to be somewhere, that I really shouldn’t be wasting this handful of free minutes because there are chores that need to be done. The type of days I took for granted when I was young and had all the time in the world.

Feeling nostalgic is nothing unusual for me…. readers of this blog know that very well. I am captivated by so many elements of my own past. But I think the thing I miss most of all is not a hair style (or even hair, for that matter!) or parachute pants or a certain kind of music or a television show. It’s time. Specifically that sense you have when you’re young that there’s an endless supply of it, and you don’t have very many demands upon it, and the afternoons are going to stretch on forever because you have no particular place you need to be…