We were warned to allow at least two hours to get from Zurich Airport to Watwil.
‘What? According to Google Maps, it should only take an hour,’ we thought. ‘It’s only sixty kilometres—and we’ve got the freeway.’ Did time speed up in Switzerland, perhaps owing to the mini-black hole created by the Large Hadron Collider?
If only we’d watched Top Gear and their experiences on Swiss roads with road works impeding travel time. A wayward Tom Tom who preferred scenic routes to the more expedient ones, and that led us astray, also slowed our progress through Europe.
So, maybe it wasn’t the mini Black Hole after all, but I have observed time does speed up or slow down depending on the place and activity. You may have heard the old adage: “Time flies when you’re having fun”. When I’m painting, I’m in the zone, and hours melt away, and a whole afternoon disappears into night. My son will come to me and ask, ‘When’s tea?’
‘Soon,’ I say. ‘Just need to do a few more dabs.’
Another hour slips by and my husband comes and says, ‘It’s nine o’clock, when are we eating?’
Fine then. I put down my brushes and admire my work…for another half an hour.
Yet there are places where time slows and stretches almost into eternity. My mother and I are convinced that Magill, a suburb east of Adelaide city, is one of those places. We love our “Magill time”—a leisurely lunch, then a slow snoop at the Salvos, then the bookshop, and still time to do the grocery shopping before we pick up my son from his guitar-making workshop.
However, for my son, “Magill time” doesn’t exist. For him, the time spent on his craft vanishes into the sawdust—much like when I paint, I guess.
My son theorises that time is relative to age. When a person is young, say, one year old, they haven’t experienced much time so the time they have lived seems a long and drawn out. But for an eighty year old, one year is one of eighty and thus seems short in comparison.
I guess there’s something to be said that time is related to energy. Young people possess a greater amount of energy; they pack so much more into a day, and still don’t tire. Have you noticed, as you get older, young people speak faster? What’s going on there? Young people complain about being bored and needing to fill in each minute of the day, so as not to waste time. Screen time fills in the gaps when “nothing” is happening.
In contrast, I’ve noticed as I’ve aged, time speeds up, or have I just slowed down? When I was younger I thought it strange that my elders prepared in advance for events, and would arrive early so as not to miss out. Now I’m doing much the same thing.
And in contrast to their youth, older people prefer to sit for hours pondering, their memories perusing their past. For them, days blend together, years vanish into a succession of Christmases. ‘Oh, dear, how time has flown,’ they say.
I guess at the end of the day, as in Psalm 31:15a, David says, “My(our) times are in your (God’s) hands”. We are encouraged to use our time on Earth wisely, loving and building each other up in goodness and thanking God for the time He has given us.
(c) Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016