One of my favorite pages in Wreck This Journal gives directions to document the passing of time. There are so many different ways to play with this prompt and so many interesting directions in which it could wander!
When my Grandma and I completed this page, we took the obvious route in some respects, but in others we offered our own unique perspective on the passage of time.
Grandma pulled out her scrap box and cut up an old calendar to express days, months, and a year. Then, she drew an alarm clock, which is something that cracks me up. She had an alarm clock that she really loved because it lit up when it went off in the morning. The only problem was she never heard it ring (she was a heavy sleeper) and therefore she hardly ever got to see it light up.
However, my favorite part of Grandma’s page are the trees she drew along the side. A baby tree growing into a taller sapling is such a beautiful way to document time. It reminds me of something she and my Grandpa did for my sister and I when we were kids. One summer, we planted baby pine trees and then stood beside them to take a picture. Every year, when we’d come to visit for the summer we’d stand by the same trees and take our picture to see how much all of us grew. The trees always grew faster than we did! I don’t know if those trees are still growing (the house has new owners), but I like to think they are still reaching for the sky.
As for me, I geeked out as a history teacher and stole an idea from my Grandma, (it’s only fair – she stole my pyramids). I drew a clock and pasted in clippings of time from an old TV guide. Then, I doodled symbols from various eras of World History. My favorite is the boat, because never in a million years did I think I could draw something like that! One of these days, I’d like to continue this page to include the eras I wrote in the bottom corner of the page.
My job as a history teacher has me thinking about the concept of time on a daily basis – Is it always moving forward or is that simply how we perceive it? Are we that different from people who lived centuries before us? What was it really like to live in a time other than my own? Time it seems is a riddle that will keep me guessing until my time runs out.
The quote I wrote on my page has never meant more to me. I had 35 years with my Grandma and yet it only feels like five minutes. I’m grateful for the moments we had, what I wouldn’t give for more. Every day with her was precious, but there those moments where I wish I had more awareness of how fleeting time can be. If anything, reflecting on these pages reminds me to treasure the time I have with those I love. No matter how many years pass by and how much time we have, it will never be enough.
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