Timmy planted his feet firmly in the sand. A warm wind swept through his feathers, coaxing him to jump. Yet, his body remained too paralyzed to move.
“Let’s go Timmy! The water’s great!” cajoled his siblings. “There’s plenty of fish across this river!”
But despite the convincing, Timmy always had trouble taking the first steps. New places, foreign foods, and other flocks scared him. A hundred “what if” questions would be raised that needed answering before any progress could be made.
“What if alligators from the Zoo escaped and were holding-out beyond the next bend?”
“What if those snapping turtles from that one time by the Duck pond followed us here? They were on our turf!”
“What if hunters spot us in the middle of the river, all lined up in row while making the crossing? We’d be sitting ducks!”
The questioning continued for another hour before thoroughly satisfying Timmy. He hopped into the water and the pod swam to the opposite shore without incident.
“See that wasn’t so bad Timmy?” quipped one his sisters. “We made it across in all one piece.”
“Yes…” replied Timmy. “But what if we left something behind?”
“Time is so fickle” exclaimed Celine. “You waste it when early, lose it when late. Yet it lags when you try to count it and flies when you don’t pay attention to it. Why do we have such a hard time pinning it down?”
“Well there is downtime, or dead time as we Americans call it”, smirked Jesse. “Time is like spacing between words or short pauses of silence. One has a hard time counting silence, no?“
“Your French is little behind the times J but I see your point. Maybe time is like a road-trip. One remembers the landmarks or the events along the way but hardly the drive. Extending this analogy, life would be a race against time, to fill the silence despite knowing that it ends with the one final event of death.”
Jesse’s face held a contemplative look. “Yet, one can borrow, share, and spend one another’s time together. Others can help fill the silence but ultimately, it is one’s own burden. Maybe this is why the young aren’t much bothered by it whilst the old feel the strain.”
“Indeed, the young have novelty on their side. The old who are burdened with the repetition of living don’t have that luxury.” Celine paused for a moment to gather her thoughts. The sound of her wristwatch filled the silence. “It’s getting late and I have to wake up early for work. Thanks for hearing my thoughts.”