Seconds are…

Seconds are the gold dust of time. I’ve been unable to discover who wrote that. If you know, tell me. Regardless, it’s true. None of us know when our lives are going to end. If you knew you were going to live a long life, would you regard your seconds as something less than gold?

I’ve come uncomfortably close to death several times in recent years. I remember, during those times, the strange sense of things slipping through my fingers. Matter no longer retains the stability and sturdiness of matter in such circumstances. It becomes something much more delicate.

The universe contracts and you truly find yourself alone on Shakespeare’s stage, spotlit in one tiny pool of light, silent and tensely waiting for the next revolution of the second hand. The spotlight is so bright you cannot see who is watching in the audience.

Keep your dustpan handy and sweep up your seconds. They’re worth something more than gold.

4 thoughts on “Seconds are…”

  1. It appears that the quote actually goes “Spare moments are the gold dust of time” and it was first uttered by Bishop Hail, whoever he or she was or is (that bit seems quite elusive; Google is silent on the topic).

    However, what you’re saying about seconds is quite true, so I suppose that means you’re the one who wrote the bit about seconds being gold dust. And I don’t have any profound response to make – other than perhaps Martin Luther’s (another unverified quote): “If the world were to end tomorrow, today I would still plant my apple tree and pay my debts.” And hug my child. Sometimes the significant is in the mundane.

    1. Ah, Bishop Hail. I’ve never heard of him either. Good old Martin Luther. I’ve heard that apple tree quote before. Or, additionally, the significant is in the insignificant.

  2. I pay my bills today by being a paramedic. I’ve been doing pre-hospital medicine for 30 years. A fraction of those I meet accept the fact that they are about to die, let alone have planned for it! I’ve yet to meet anyone who is truly bulletproof, and few who believe they are not.

    My mother died in 1987 at age 61 shortly after her 40th anniversary with my father. I’m just about there. My sister is older than my mother was when she passed away. Her death had a huge impact on me. My sister now has breast cancer. I’m seeing the neurosurgeon at 1pm today about a brain tumor…a “good” brain tumor, so I am told. I’ll have to ask Mary Tyler Moore and Sheryl Crow how much fun it is next time I see them 😉

    I was an executive in the semiconductor industry – you know, those companies that devour precious agriculture land in California, then 10 years later go out of business and ship all the jobs to Asia. After 26 years, I had the choice, if you want to call it that, of going to Asia along with all the jobs I had sent over there. I wanted nothing to do with it. We moved from the city to our ranch where I made a lot of memories with my youngest two daughers. Unfortunately, the oldest daughter knew me as the man she met at the airport who brought home gifts from far-away places. I figured out too late what I had lost. After that epiphany, I took the younger two and my wife with me when I could. Their passports are full. Now, my youngest wants to study abroad in Italy!

    Make the right choices now…today…while you are young. Have a reasonable bucket list and start working on it. Experience life to its fullest with your spouse and children. I expect nothing short of an outstanding report from you in five years.

    1. Sorry to hear about the tumor, Doug. I hope to hear good news on that front.

      Great advice. I’m glad your story changed course. While you might have suffered professionally from your choice, it sounds like your family benefited greatly. I saw my dad make a choice like that when we were young. He decided to not do the winter deal down in Arizona and in the California desert, which would have necessitated leaving the family for about two months every year. That annual pilgrimage down south for the winter lettuce deal broke up a lot of families around us, despite the financial payoff. I’m indebted to him. Hopefully I can be wise enough to make the same kinds of choices for my two little kiddos and my wife.

      Like Solomon said, all flesh is like grass…

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