December again! How on earth did that happen?
Well, no, I’m not asking how it
happened in the literal sense. I’m
perfectly well aware that the Julian calendar year comprises twelve months of
which December is the culmination, this past year having been no different from
two thousand of its predecessors.
What I really mean to ask is: why,
at least for me, did this year unfold so rapidly? So rapidly, in fact, that it scarcely seems to
I like the little verse from Dr.
How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before its afternoon
December is here before its June
My goodness how this time has
How did it get so late so soon.
The answer, of course, is that it’s
what we now call an ‘age thing’. How
mystifying it used to be listening to my parent’s clichéd ruminations on the
passage of time. “I just don’t know
where the time goes”, they’d wail, and “How time flies!” If I didn’t understand what they were getting at
then, I do now.
The mortal coil can be compared
to a 5000 meter race: in childhood we crawl, in youth we amble, in middle age we
break into a trot, and then, in the later years, we burst away from the field in
a desperate sprint to the finish. The
difference is that, unlike the runners, we have no control over the speed at
which we run the course.
Christmas won’t help. It too dramatically defines the closing of
the calendar year; the inflated celebration turns what ought to be a minor
adjustment in a number into a lifetime milestone.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not getting melancholic about this. I’m quite looking forward to a new year, and
new challenges. I’m genetically
programmed to be an optimist.
It’s just that I’d like to pause for
a while to take a breath before heading down the track to the waiting