The Shadow of Death

I have long thought of life as a big roller coaster with just one hill.  It’s a very short ride when you look at it from afar, but when you climb into the rail car it seems like a lifetime…  pun intended.  Today I am just going to write down some thoughts that are haunting me.  No editing, no rewriting…  just spilling…

Last night I had a dream that deeply stirred my soul.  I don’t remember the details of the dream specifically, but I remember the theme.  Aging.  I saw myself outside myself as I grow older.  Years peeled off one by one as the light in my eyes grew dimmer.  All the while, “Summerland” by the band King’s X played softly in the background.

Ty Tabor wrote that song about a completely different subject.  But the words drove in deep and stirred up the helpless feelings that I woke up with and still carry this morning.

Summerland in my past
Days were full and i knew it would last
I never thought there was anything else but you
The wind is getting cold
You’re finally getting old
Not much time
There’s much to do
Look ahead and walk on through
No one’s taking sides this time it’s you
Your sky can still be blue
Always in love with you

I’ve climbed the hill on the roller coaster.  I have spent my youth.  If average lifespans are to be believed, I have crossed the threshold some six years ago.  This is the other side of the hill.  I’m over the proverbial hill.

It’s true what they say.  The time goes by so much faster on this side of the hill.  It races toward the inevitable.  I simply can’t believe that I sit here on the downward slope.  But, alas, there’s no stopping time.

Pink Floyd wrote a brilliant song back in the 70’s called “Time”.  We’ve all heard it.  The lyrics are a stark lesson for the youth and a reminder to us not-so-young to cherish our life and our moments.

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.

I really hate dreams that shake my core like this one has.  I am always aware of the aging process.  But I generally push it to the back of my mind and accept that I can’t change it.  We’re all in the same boat.  But this is one area that being in the same boat is not much comfort.  Because we all face this reality alone.  No matter what.  We all own our lives and the moments that we spend.

It can be depressing, overwhelming even, to think about your finiteness.  It is especially  difficult to transition from the upward to the downward hill.  Many will hold on to their youth with all their might.  Others will live in denial and tell themselves that they are forever young at heart.  But the cold, stark reality is that time keeps on marching to the grave.  This we can be certain of.  In all honesty, were it not for my Faith, this reality could crush me.

Thank the Good Lord that He has overcome death.  But I still feel loss for all the moments  of youth I can no longer account for.  And for today, my core is shaken and my soul is sad.