Shade dappled our sunlit porch that August morning, nearly nine years ago. My friend Susan and her daughter, Jorie, had come for coffee with me and my mother, who was visiting from England.
We sat, two sets of mothers and daughters, ranging in age from 7 to 72, listening to a summer symphony of crickets and other insect musicians, enjoying the simple luxury of time and savouring our moments together.
Mum had determined to make some changes in her life--turn over a new leaf. I can't remember specifically in what area anymore. While I recorded the details such as the sunlight and shadow--the song of the crickets, in my journal--I didn't record that!
Susan went home and wrote this poem. She was inspired by my mum and her determination to live the rest of her life with a new perspective.
At the time she wrote it she was a mother of nine who thought her life was pretty much as it would be. In the years since she wrote the poem, so much has happened--I don't think that even she could have anticipated the adventure her life has been since then--and it's still unfolding.
I Simply Haven’t Time!
When I was young and arrogant,
I said some things I should recant.
Like, “Hope I die before I’m old…”
Could I have really been that bold?
The years are quickly passing by.
I check the mirror and find that I
Have wrinkles creeping o’er my face,
And signs of age in every place.
Is it too late to realize
That with the “old” comes also “wise?”
There is so much that’s left to do
So many things of real value.
I’ve lately come to understand
That it’s all part of God’s great plan;
I need to live out all my days;
I need the time to learn His ways!
I still have opportunity
To bless each one I come to meet.
To drop some flowers on the path,
And leave His fragrance where I’ve passed.
I’m old? I’m old! And changed my tune…
I want to live, not go too soon.
And tho’ I am no longer spry,
I simply haven’t time to die!
Susan Stewart, August 1998
"The beginning determines the end" From the movie, The Emperor's Club