When I awoke a full arching rainbow glimmered in the early morning sky. The world did not end yesterday as anticipated although some claim to have heard the faint click of tumblers falling into place as the Mayan calendar turned over and a new cosmic cycle began.
What is the attraction of Armageddon, the world cataclysm? Is it an impulse of Thanatos that lurks within the mind, an urging to be over and down with the challenges of this life but at the same time demanding an exit accompanied by trumpets blaring and parapets tumbling – for we do not wish to go gently into that good night but leave it as we entered, kicking and screaming and howling as we recognized where we were.
The slide into the holidays has been greased here by two days of heavy rain and when I visit the park this morning I see that the small creek is four times its width and slowly climbing up the banks of the narrow channel.
The skies are gray and white with thin narrow streaks of blue that effortlessly appear and disappear in the shifting currents. A gull, more than fifty miles from the sea and perhaps carried inland on the wind, cuts and darts through the clouds.
The oak trees are all but stripped of leaves now and stand dark and brooding while limbs drip raindrops like a spring shower. The ground is sodden, leaves sticking wetly to the grass. The squirrels are nowhere to be seen.
A lone jogger streaks by, his bald head glistening, his face red. The racing stripe on the outside of his flapping shorts keeps time as his legs pump up and down. The dog park is deserted; the playground empty, not even the echo of children remains.
As more blue tentatively edges into the morning a woman enters the park with her dog. A young boy on a bicycle rides past another who is standing on the bridge and watching a lone duck floating by – no need to paddle in these lively waters. Meanwhile, the jogger has circled three, no four more times, around the park, like a second hand sweeping the day’s clock.
As the year staggers towards the finish line, I prepare to reset my own chronometer. 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 210,240 minutes, 12,614,400 seconds. A treasure of time! And we do not know how much of it will be ours to spend.