Feeling old today …
A Time for Remembering
By Richard L. Evans
Looking forward from our youth and looking back after youth has passed present two very different perspectives. As parents we see the future in our children. But as children we see the present and the future in ourselves. When we are young, our parents may look very old to us. But even when we feel that we are quite grown up, we may still look very young to them. We change so gradually that we may not know when it is that we become old in the eyes of others.
The generations come and go, with children becoming parents, parents becoming grandparents, and youth growing up to take their places, while others move on, as life endlessly unfolds. There are days we wish would linger longer. But time will not be stayed.
There are times, with our children around us, when we would like to keep them as they are – safe from life – safe from all untoward influences. There are times when we have our loved ones with us, and we may hope that it will always be so. But in this life, here and now, it isn’t always so.
And there come those times when our hearts cry out for a turning back of the hours and of the years, as the poet pleaded:
“Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart, as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair; …”
– Elizabeth Akers Allen
“Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight!” – But time does not turn back. It moves its measured course. And the days we wish would linger longer move on at the same measured pace as the days we are glad to see go.
And since time will not turn back – and since it will not wait, let there be this day – and on all other days – a renewal of thoughtfulness from the young to the old, and from the old to the young, for there is no time of life, in youth or in age, when we may not be lonely; where is no time when we are not hurt by thoughtlessness or neglect. All of us, young and old alike, have need to be loved and understood, to be cherished and remembered.
(14 May 1950)