12 Essays 2019, Shorts

The Story of Time

The Story of Time -January Essay

Time is a weird concept. It can be measured in seconds, minutes, moments, memories, breaths, feelings, laughter, words, songs and books. The best spent time, however, is that one we do not measure. We do not feel passing.
Time well spent is the one that turns into memories.
Remember that time when…I wish I could turn back the time… Time waits for no man…
But it does exist. As in nature’s course, there is time for different activities. There is a time for everything.
To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
It is important to recognize where we are in every moment while we are alive. And respect it. Perhaps for some is a time of growing or of planting, maybe sowing, for others is a time for dancing, laughing or perhaps breaking down. We must acknowledge that time and honour it.
We must not await time out.
Some of us have been waiting for something all our lives. For a sign, a certain day, a certain season, or even for a certain mood. For something exterior to validate and motivate our internal wishes and desires. Oh, how much time have we wasted waiting for the weekend. Or for money, love, inspiration, summer, a better life, a better exchange rate.
And how frustrated we’ve become with every second waiting and waiting and seeing nothing changes.
Nothing will change, however, with that mindset. Because time is our own commodity of our own making.
Pondering now on how January is almost at the ending and New Year’s Resolutions and wishful thinking started already to dull their light, and we find ourselves again at our old antics, again on the run, again restless, at war with ourselves. Or even worse, stuck, uninspired, unmoved, cold and lifeless. Feeling unworthy of goodness. Undeserving. Fake. Impostors. Not good enough. Simply not enough.
There is a reason for that. And it is simple. The time for resolutions, wishes upon a star, on the New Year’s fireworks, on a birthday cake, on a dandelion, on a shooting star (and so on) is over. All gone!
Some very wise men once said- The time is gone, the song is over. (check it out here). To paraphrase them I would say that the time is gone, the waiting is over!
That time is over.
It is done!
We’ve dreamt it. We’ve wished for it. We’ve longed for it. We’ve even prayed for it and manifested it. That is great, but enough.
Now it is the time to do it.
Good, but…how?
We should start with what we can. Changing that mind frame. Working on an idea, or a seed of an idea. With the first step- be it a word, a flower, a 5 minutes meditation, a 76-form Tai Chi routine, a sequence of Sun Salutation, 10 minutes walk, an apple, a healthy dinner, ironing 1 shirt, 6 cycles of deep breathing, calling 1 person, 10 min hike, writing 2 emails, texting back, throw away just 1 piece of junk, recycle 2 papers, plant a tree, say no to one plastic straw or even just by saying Hi to someone we’ve been meaning to get in touch with again.
Without pressure, without expectations, without analyzing (or overanalyzing- hey, I’m feeling your pain, my friend!), without beating yourself up, without guilt.
Start our first month of this blessed year with a word. Chosen wisely. And enwrap ourselves in it. Build around it, plant around it, dance around it. You get my point.
How can we make the most of this year by reporting all our actions around a word? By calling it a call to action. A hope. A dream. A wish…
Picking our theme for the year and then working towards that goal. With small steps, with big leaps of faith, with both.
As long as at the end of the year we will have something to “quantify” and measure our growth, we’re on the right path.

Food for thought and soul:

  1. Do you feel restless (go to the thesaurus and pick any of the following: antsy, agitated, anxious, fidgety, UNPEACEFUL) or perhaps, au contraire… you are just stuck, uninspired, humdrum, indifferent, desolate, dulled, LIFELESS? Do you want to change that? Then pick your dream word. It can be a word, a phrase, a saying, a chapter, an entire book series if you want. Write it down. (disregard this step if it is an entire fantasy trilogy concerning hobbits or a seven book series with muggles in it)
  2. Do you want more, something else, something different, anything at all? Even if it means to shake yourself a bit. (*the correct answer is YES!) Can you link it somehow to your dream word?
  3. Thinking about what you want to achieve (you know what it is), what would be the first step?
  4. Why aren’t you doing it? (*list your fears, worst-case-scenarios, insufficiencies, motivations or lack of them)
  5. What would it take to convince you to do it? (*insert any type of bribe here- I suggest you think big! I mean, you’re only trying to convince yourself. So you have to be smart and creative and use all the arsenal you have. You know yourselves so it will be easy. I know bribing only goes this far, it is sometimes frowned upon, even considered the bane of our own existence, but- hey, I said no guilt, haven’t I?)
  6. Breathe. Deep, for at least 6 cycles. Repeat if necessary.
  7. Ignoring, or in spite of step # 3, take step #2+ step #4 and START.
  8. Keep going. Until you’re done. Or moved. Or calmer. Or happier. Then, on to the next step. It may (or may not) get easier with every step.
  9. Optional -tell your friends about it. You can start with me. Afterall we’re a part of a small tribe, right? We’re building here a small village fit for a tribe of awesomeness.
Sending my love out there to you, darlings.
Until next time, let’s keep in touch!
Roxana
Post Scriptum: For those counting words, I confirm my essay has now 1000 words as WordPress knows to count.
Shorts

The Story of Sleepy Villages

Especially in winter time, either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, the Romanian villages are fast asleep. There is not even a soul outside the house and it seems like everyone is neatly tucked in trying to keep warm. It has been a flurry day. Gray clouds covered the sun up until it was time to set, and Heaven poured on us floating frozen feathers. As always, snow calms people down, they move slowly in the flurry air, breathing in the heavily scented air of burnt wood and pine forest from the hills behind the houses.
With frozen fingers, you take the images that are already developing in your heart, while your muscles protest going up the hill on the slippery path. It’s been a while since you’ve been out in the open, especially out in the woods. On your way up you meet wonderful people, greeting you and asking about your day, while their little feisty creatures stop at your feet analyzing if you’re a threat or not. One word is enough and you’re already best pals, and their furry tails swish spirited. You part ways with a smile on your face and your breath becomes heavier while you try to balance your camera, bag, and your pace steady uphill. Somewhere in the village below someone is baking an apple pie. The smell infiltrates the woods and suddenly you crave coffee and a slice of that homemade pie. The pines are shedding their bark, snakelike, and all of a sudden you find your hands fills with cones, pieces of bark and little forest treasures that you admire mesmerized by their beauty and simplicity. The village is now hidden by a curtain of pine trees and the silence is almost deafening. You can hear your heart beating in your chest, you can hear your breath, and even see it forming little clouds in the crisp air. You find an even spot, open the shutter and take a few photos of the forest around you and the village that lays at your feet. It is quiet.
The forest squeaks and vibrates around you, and a gentle-yet freezing gust of wind makes you pull the scarf tighter. Silence. Around you. In you. You catch the looks of your companion and you know you both think the same idea. Coffee and apple pie, somewhere in that village, wearing comfy socks, with your back leaning on the stove, warming you up.
While you make your way downhill, careful not to lose balance, you snap a few more photos. The flurry has started again, with much more intensity and you find yourself smiling. You have found your smile in the forest and lost your worries. You feel refreshed and that apple pie must be ready by now. You find yourself hastening the pace towards the promise land.
Life is simple. If you’d let it be. Especially in winter. Especially in little villages at the foot of the pine tree hills. All you have to do is breathe in and out with good intentions. A few times, just to let it all out. And especially let it all in.
*First seen here: RoseKate