Tick- Tick- Tick-
Each second ticks by, disappearing forever into history, never to be experienced again by anyone living on this side of Tralfamadore.
Kids these days may be as unfamiliar with the "ticking" of a secondhand sweeping the face of a clock as they are unlikely to be aware of Kurt Vonnegut's multi-dimension-inhabiting Tralfamadorians.
Clocks rarely "tick" these days, and most electronic displays are set to wait on minutes - which is probably a good thing, as the up-and-coming generations live with 60 times fewer reminders of the relentless passage of time.
Nevertheless, those seconds are lurking in the background, ticking us into minutes that build into hours, into days, into weeks, into years, into decades, and for those few among us fortunate enough, into a whole century - but there, at that magnitude, it certainly ends.
Time is a big deal to us humans, who have so much of it in comparison to the vast majority of species populating this planet.
A few tortoises can be expected to outlast us, and some parrots - but even most plants (and that includes a lot of trees) don't live as many years as we can reasonably expect for ourselves.
We have a host of adages that express our need to keep track of time, to be aware of it, to utilize it, to maximize its potential.
A stitch in time saves nine.
Time is of the essence. Time is money.
After all, time waits for no man.
If you don't use it, you're killing it.
Perhaps that's why time weighs heavy on the soul.
And all through it, once they begin ticking for each of us, those seconds keep pushing us along the continuum of our existence towards one ending or another.
And if we are long-lived life-forms on this planet, our segment of the overall scale of time is orders of magnitude smaller than miniscule.
But before you start obsessing too deeply on our interminable movement through our tiny space-time habitat and start looking for a bridge to launch you past time and space, consider what the seconds leave behind as they march themselves off into oblivion.
We can never get those seconds back- but we never really lose them, either.
Each of those seconds has the potential to become a memory.
Collectively, they turn into experience.
And with luck and practice, we can shape them into wisdom.
I never have enough time on my hands, but lately, I've had a lot of it on my mind.
With Father's Day approaching, I'm mindful of the passage of time, and of the memories, the experience, and the wisdom that my dad has shared and continues to share with me - from his vast pool of more than 97 years worth of seconds that have ticked through his clock.
My own, much smaller pool of ticked-by seconds has given me a wealth of memories and experiences with my dad that have enriched not only my life, but the lives of everyone with whom I occasionally have an opportunity to touch with his wisdom.
Indeed, one of the wisest things I have gleaned from sharing all those nonrefundable seconds with my dad has been that wisdom doesn't exist without sharing - sharing the seconds, the memories, the experiences.
And happiness that comes from those shared seconds doesn't exist without sharing beyond the seconds themselves.
Share some of those precious seconds with your dad if and when you can.
Those seconds are fleeting- but forever.
Bob Groeneveld is the editor of the Langley Advance.
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