TIME STANDS STILL
I have read The Noticer and The Noticer Returns, by Andy Andrews, a number of times. In The Noticer Returns, Jones is speaking, “Time is an odd thing. Christmas Eve for most adults lasts about as long as most other nights, but for an eight-year-old, on that particular night of the year, time slows to a crawl.”
A second is a second. A minute is a minute. An hour is an hour. These are all true statements, but they are also not true. Or, they seem not true.
A MILLION STARS
One night, years ago, Bill and I were in a very small and extremely interesting town - Ennis, Montana. Would you like to fish for rainbow or brown trout? This is the place. Want to eat breakfast with the locals? You will need to arrive early at the drug store or you will not find a seat. Want to have time stand still? It can happen here.
We were staying in a place on the outside of town. It had been a long day, one last sip of water and off to bed. At about three o’clock, I made a trip to the little room and headed back to bed. Then I saw them. STARS!!! A sky full of stars. I stepped outside and time stood still. For a brief moment, I was the only person in the universe and I was surrounded with stars. They seemed so close I thought I could touch them. They were so bright. And quiet. For a brief moment, time stood still and I was given the gift of wonder. Time resumed and I woke Bill up, dragged him outside and we stared at heaven.
BESIDE A HOSPITAL BED
Our daughter has had a number of surgeries. The family is always given a minute to tell the patient goodbye. (Never liked that term. How about tell the patient you will see them when the surgery is over?) Anyway, every time I have stood beside that bed, time stood still. I am sure no one else realized it. Or maybe it was standing still for them too. But as time stood still, I had time to take a deep breath. To prepare. And, in less than what seemed like an eternity, I was able to turn and walk away. And time resumed.
A GOOD BOOK
Now there is nothing that can make time stand still like a good book. Others see the hands on the clock move. Others see the time go from 1 to 2 to 3. Not me! While I am helping Jack Reacher solve a mystery (written by Lee Child) or sit at the coffee shop with Father Tim (Jan Karon, Mitford Series) or crashing through Platform 9 3/4 (Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling) or accompanying the crippled woman as she walks toward Jesus (The Bible, Luke 13:10-17), time stands still. When I close the book, you would think I was on the Millennium Falcon and Hans Solo had the pedal to the metal. When that book snaps shut, time resumes and somehow I have to catch up with the clock.
Time is an odd thing. Sometimes a minute lasts an eternity and a lifetime seems so brief. And sometimes, time stands still. Time stands still so we can see a million stars. So we can receive the strength we need. So our imaginations can travel the world.