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Time, Be My Friend

Maybe there’s a chance for me to go back there Now that I have some direction It would sure be nice to be back home Where there’s love and affection.

And just maybe I can convince time to slow up Giving me enough time in my life to grow up Time be my friend, let me start again… The Wiz, “Home”

My memories of summertime as a child consist of playing flashlight tag in the dark with my neighborhood friends and catching fireflies in a coffee can or glass mason jar. We had family barbecues and church picnics, and when the heat clung to our bare legs like a second skin, we chased each other around the yards with Super Soaker 500s and filled water balloons primed for maximum impact.

Echoing screams of delight faded as the last remnants of daylight gave way to night, as we put on our nightgowns and burrowed our feet beneath the cold, crisp sheets of our beds. The glow of the lamp bathed the room in warmth, and the low murmuring of the television downstairs, siblings talking across the hall, made everything feel comfortable and safe and…like home. The turning pages of a book became the only thing we were aware of as the world slipped away and we sought peace from our imaginations before slowly, slowly, even that fell away to our dreams.

Sometimes I think I would give anything to go back to that time — those years when, for three months, time stood still. It seemed so simple then. So light, so easy…

So permanent.

But maybe that’s only the memory speaking. Maybe that’s the longing of something so light, so easy, so simple. Something so safe and assured.

Maybe that’s only the missing speaking — missing people and places and a time that can’t ever be replicated; missing the feeling of comfort and safety and simplicity that marked those childhood days, that won’t — and can’t — come again. At least, not as it was back then when your mother’s voice called you in the dark and you came running to the back door, ready to end the day, knowing there would always be a next.

Now, the only thing I’m certain of is how uncertain life can be. Life changes with every skip of a heartbeat and I find myself thinking, this heart is beating too fast and not fast enough.

I know that I have to learn to appreciate time as it is. Every day is different from the last, with a future that quickly becomes the past and a present that changes the future. Every day there are changes, new chances, and while you may not even be aware of it, with every heartbeat, you’re changing, too.

Sometimes, though…Sometimes, I just want it all to remain the same.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m capable of handling anymore change.

I think I’m scared. The life I’ve always dreamed of is right there on the horizon, about to become a beautiful reality. I’ve become a person I’m proud to be, becoming the woman I’ve always felt was within me, just waiting for life and time to catch up to her. And yet, while I’m so eager for this so-called new life to begin, tonight I feel there’s so much holding me back, so much that still haunts me, like there’s so much healing and learning left to do.

I find myself scared that I will inadvertently sabotage myself and my chance at this happiness.

Sometimes, I think I would give anything to take a step back, to put all those pieces of the past back together again. No broken hearts, no wondering about a future that you can’t control, and no terrible heartache that comes with saying goodbye forever.

Sometimes, I wish life would slow down, that the moments would last forever.

And yet, sometimes, I wish life would speed up, that the future I’ve longed for could be right within my grasp, certain, unbending, without a chance of changing…

I feel like I’m balancing Time — standing on a precarious, emotional edge with the innocence of childhood to my back and a vast unknown spread out in front of me.

Tonight, I long for a missed past while anxiously preparing for a long-awaited future.

Tonight, I wish, more than anything, for that comforting voice to call me in from the dark, ready to embrace me in words of comfort and confidence as the day draws to a close.

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