Friday, December 30, 2016



Five hundred and twenty four instants condensed from the hundreds of shutter clicks both actual and virtual.  Five hundred and twenty four images captured, each just a fraction of a second, less than the inhaled breath it took to keep the scene in focus.  It took more than an hour of squinting and sorting to winnow this year down to five hundred and twenty four vignettes. Like the famous film editor told us, "so much good stuff winds up on the floor..."


The days of 2017 lay out in a grid of white on the computer screen.  Add in the ability to format the cover page to accept five or more photos on the top half of each month, that part usually decorated with snowy peaks, or wildflowers...compiled wisdom or poetry....cute kids, old tractors, fast cars,  appealing pets, or whatever catches the customers' attention in the auto parts shop. Tally those sums and 100 of those 524 precious, if insignificant slices of life must be left behind to be consigned to Time Hop, or Moments, or, horror of horrors, reduced to nothingness, non existence, with a swipe of a finger through the trash can icon.

See, when I put together a calendar, every day of the year gets a picture, not just major holidays like the 4th of July or Thanksgiving.  Birthdays get pictures; anniversaries get pictures; even dates like  Pitchers and Catchers Report and Daylight Savings Time Ends get a picture. Every Monday thru Sunday from January 1 to New Year's Eve gets a story from the previous year, unless the photo completely obliterates the birthday or anniversary already noted in print. It seems only logical: if one is going to purchase a calendar from a company that provides photo products, then MAXIMIZE THE PHOTOS!

That's the physical part.  Now for the metaphysical aspect, the essence, the lifeblood, the underlying part and parcel and meaning of every day to day to day up to three hundred and sixty five....

There's a sundial in a corner of my back patio, perched on a plant stand built of railroad spikes.  Soon after it was given to me, I discovered its defect; the gnomon is backwards, so the shadow is always pointing to the wrong time.  Despite its uselessness as a time piece, the sentiment imprinted on its surface is one I'm fond of: 'Grow Old Along with Me, The Best is Yet to Be.'   Season after season, as we plant and harvest, grow and work, gain and lose, we measure this motto against the times, adding to the sum of our days the blessings thereof.  Barbeques and birthdays, babies in bathtubs, banquets and bequests, ballgames and warm beds afterwards......hugs, harvests, helping hands, and homes.  Travels. Travails.

Not every "yet to be" is the "best".  The sundial counts "Only Sunny Hours".   The calendar measures only the happiest of times.  But that is as it should be.  We should build our year with the sunniest, the most blessed, the simplest, and the homeliest, of days.  At the end of this year, we are the most fortunate to count not just our daily bread, our daily blessings...not just the three hundred and sixty five and  the extra one hundred special moments pictured  on the month, but even more...overflowing on the unnamed, the unnumbered white spaces....  Count them all! Five hundred twenty four...

...and so many more...

P.S....Last year it was 530!

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