Time always seems to be an issue at the fall equinox. The shortening daylight gives a feeling of shorter hours, while the activities that resume in the fall take up more of those hours. The tasks put off during hot weather have also accumulated. There is one plus to this season: being up before the sun to see the dawn color.
The rest of the day time seems to run and leap, trampling the to-do list. I may even suffer an attack of Chronophobia:
I’m on the monster’s back and I don’t dare get off. Time is the enemy, a threat to all my projects. Of hours in the day or days in the week there are never enough to keep up with all my chosen tasks: the writing, the meetings, the email, the sewing, the gardening.
Some weeks I wonder if I should even be spending Sunday morning at church. I hear time growling, licking his lips. Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do today that I must spend a long time in prayer.” How could this be, I wondered. Then I discovered the secret. When I stop, really completely stop―not just sit down with a book, not just make a cup of coffee―when I really come to a full stop, time stops too.
It doesn’t last long. As soon as I begin to move again, I have to get back up on the monster’s back and race toward the next task, the next deadline, the next chime of the hour. If I slip off I may be eaten. This is Chronos, after all: the old god who eats his children.
Thanks to Ina Hughs, at last year’s October Writing Festival at Ghost Ranch, for her “sheet of fears” exercise.