When we were very young, before kindergarten, before reading, before responsibility,
the world was new, so new it hadn’t made up its mind what it wanted to be yet,
and we never could tell in that moment before we opened our eyes from sleep what we might find.
How could we know for sure that the snow on the ground yesterday wouldn’t be the last snow the world ever decided to make,
or that in place of the snow the earth might not have chosen some new covering, perhaps a fur coat.
Each day was long, so long we couldn’t see the end,
but the end always came, just in time,
for we were filled up and needed rest.
So then came school and each day grew more uniform and time was measured.
No longer did it flow from dawn to dusk, it ticked away and we began to think in hours.
With repetition we also learned to think in days and weeks,
and as the seasons tumbled ’round, we learned to look ahead to summer or winter, spring or fall.
Whole months and years could be encompassed in a single thought.
Where had the shining moments gone, each one strung like a dazzling gem on an endless necklace?
Now the world is settling down.
It knows what it will be.
I can look ahead five years, or 10, or more.
And imagining the future, I head for it and concentrate — perhaps too much — on that vision.
I often see the future now more than the present.
Come close to me, and help me see the buds on all the trees in spring, cocky and unstoppable,
ready to open their one eye and smile.
Stay close to me, and help me see the snowflakes in winter —
when was the last time I studied that fragile architecture?
Come close to me, stay close to me, and let’s not pass the time.
Nick Schweitzer, Orion