Many years ago, I wrote a short poem and titled it, “The Speed of Life”. I thought it was very clever at the time. A novel, four word description of life at the end of the 20th century. Since then, I have noted the phrase in several advertising campaigns and a quick internet search provides evidence aplenty that I was neither the first, nor the last to use it.
So, what does that tell me? It says to me, that unless you live in a wilderness, the speed of life is as evident to you as it is for me. I really do not need to describe the phenomenon, because we are all on the same bumpy train. One thing does seem odd to me though; perhaps it is a simple factor of aging. I could almost swear the years are flying by at an ever-increasing rate. I think we should check Einstein’s notes one more time; just to make sure he had not predicted such a calamity.
More than a decade ago, we packed up and moved to a little community in western Colorado called Cedaredge. The town is nestled on the edge of the Grand Mesa, and the views are stunning. Almost any direction you look, there is a snow-capped mountain range decorating the horizon. The Grand Mesa rises to fill the rest of the sky. It is deceptively huge; its bulk is only discernable if you focus on smaller features like individual trees.
We only lived there for about three years. After the first year, for some reason I stopped marveling at the views. I was soon dragging myself to the truck every morning, just like the morning before, looking at my watch and thinking about the day’s work ahead. Just like the day before, at works end I raced home, eager to grab some dinner, sit on the couch and relax. Every so often, as if someone slapped me in the face, I would look up and notice the mountains, and I would kick myself for all the days I had ignored them. I think about those views, now that we do not live there anymore.
Today, on this cold Nebraska morning, I dragged myself to the truck, looked at my watch, and thought about the days work ahead. At the end of the day, I raced home, eager to have dinner, sit on the couch, and relax.
I have been thinking, lately, that each one of us is the center of the universe. Not in a spiritual sense, but simply in terms of our perception of the universe as it relates to us. Once in awhile, I have a slap-on-the-face moment while waiting at a traffic light. I will look at the driver inside the car sitting next to me, and imagine what the universe looks like from their eyes. The views are stunning, thought provoking, and a little bit humbling.
Copyright ©2005, Phil Harris – All Rights Reserved