An editorial: Time passes, and that’s a good thing

Today is the first day of September. Almost as much as New Year’s Day, it seems like a time for renewal and rebirth.

Kids are going back to school. The much-anticipated football season is right around the corner. Cooler weather gives us the energy to tackle projects that seemed too daunting during the hot days of summer.

As the leaves start showing their first blush of fall colors, we’re all reminded that time marches on, that the autumn of our lives is just around the corner, that nothing lasts forever. Vacation is over, and it’s time to head back to everyday life with renewed purpose and vigor.

The editorial board here at DavisW’s Blog goes on record today as being very much in favor of the progression of time.

It’s easy for us to forget how critical it is that there be a past, a present and a future. When things are good, we wish that time could stand still. When things are bad, we can’t wait till tomorrow. There’s a natural human tendency to regard the present as all-important, and thus the time we wish it always was.

But think about how awkward life would be if everything happened at the same time. You’d never get anything done. Instead of planning for retirement or for your children’s college education, you’d be wrestling with issues of serfdom, with the injustice of life under an all-powerful Extraterrestrial Overlord, with dinosaurs marauding through your garbage and futuristic robots knocking on your door, trying to sell you siding or new gutters or the benefits of a Mormon lifestyle.

It’s only because time passes gradually that we can put our lives in a logical, sequential order. Think how chaotic it would be for days and months and years to occur randomly. One day, it’s September 1, 2011; the next day it’s March 16, 1584; next, it’s the year 2525 (if Man is still alive).

Whether you think the universe was created in God’s image 6,000 years ago, or at the moment of a Big Bang some 13.7 billion years earlier than that, you’ve got to believe there was a beginning of time. And you’ve got to be glad you weren’t there. Who among us would want to be witnesses to the banishment of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, or the explosion of a primordial atom into a trillion stars? It would be awkward, or it would be loud, or possibly both.

And who wants to be around for the End Times? Though a few religious zealots might pray for the Rapture, the rest of us would find it awfully hard to schedule, what with Bobby’s soccer practice and Mom’s book club meeting and Dad’s dalliance with the neighbor lady. And, if instead of a Rapture it’s a collision between Earth and a rogue asteroid, how will that be any less convenient?

So let’s welcome the new month with enthusiasm. Let’s be glad that tomorrow will be September 2, and the day after that September 3. Let’s hope that the rest of September proceeds as logically as August did, and that when it comes time in four and a half weeks to flip the calendar page yet again, let’s hope that it’s October.

“Time keeps on slipping … slipping … slipping, into the future,” sang Steve Miller.

“Time passages,” added Al Stewart. “I know you’re in there, you’re just out of sight.”

“Yesterday,” noted the Beatles, “all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay. Oh, I believe in yesterday.”

Musicians don’t lie. Let us heed their call, and be thankful that it’s become later than it was when you first began reading this editorial.

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2 Responses to “An editorial: Time passes, and that’s a good thing”

  1. Paul Dixon Says:

    You are quite the cracker barrel philosopher, Davis!

    Hey-I ran across some old issues of the Flambeau the other day. Enjoyed reading The Bitter Edge again. You haven’t changed much.

    Happy Labor Day weekend to you and yours!

  2. fakename2 Says:

    Leaves have colors? Actually, here in N. Florida we do have two leaf colors–green and brown. Except for my neighbor across the street who has a maple (!), probably the only one in a hundred-mile radius. I’m amazed it’s survived. I just peeked at it and sure enough, you can see a tinge. Eventually it will be a brilliant red. I once read (I think) that leaves that CAN change color do so as a result of the amount of available daylight, not as a result of temperature. That must be true, because the days are definitely getting shorter. The temp has cooled down too, to an average of about 92F. If that’s not good enough for a tree, then it really needs to take a nap.

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