I have quoted James Taylor more than once on his observation that “the secret to life is enjoying the passage of time.” He is not wrong, and perhaps the greatest wonder of our species is the delicious diversity in the unique ways each of us goes about the business of enjoying the passage of that time.

If you have been with me for a while, you are well aware that I pass the time by keeping to myself, minimizing my exposure to the icky outside world and the sea of humanity swimming in it, and writing; these things bring me great joy. You are also aware, even if you’re new here and have only seen a handful of previous entries, that I am a sucker for my grandchildren, and what little time I get to spend with them brings me the greatest joy of all. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love my children… But when it comes to grandbabies, I like to think of them as God’s way of rewarding me for the hell my kids gave me, resisting my every attempt to steer them towards becoming good people and upstanding, contributing members of their communities, when they were growing up.

Home again after 48 hours (Friday night to Sunday night) and a two-day”Djiadji” sleepover at my son’s house under my belt, I am once more at the keyboard – completely drained of all physical energy while simultaneously drowning in my fully recharged chaos batteries, I am basking in the glow of the passage of so much joyful time. My phone was on airplane mode, and my unread email list and latest entries Substack feed took several hours to go through. I have never felt better about being offline and unavailable than I do as I write this entry for publication. In fact, I am as sure as I can be, that unplugging yourself from gadgets for extended periods of time is the only way to improve the depth and quality of your enjoyment in the passage of time when you do sit down and get to the business of writing.

I took the picture featured above during a family walk along a very popular hiking/ biking/ jogging trail in central Massachusetts; two dogs, two kids, and three adults just doddering along, getting a little fresh air and exercise in the woods.

We gave those kids (4 & 6) every reason imaginable to chase each other, race against each other seeing who could get to some tree farther up ahead first, and quietly doing everything we could to exhaust them… Knowing full well that we had every intention of taking a nap when we got home and making sure they would be out cold so we could do so in peace and uninterrupted. Boy, howdy, did it work! Out of earshot of the kids, I laughingly pointed out to my son that we were cheating by intentionally driving them to exhaustion, fresh off a fabulous breakfast, to which he quickly replied “That’s not cheating, dad, that’s winning.”I didn’t argue.

Those kids slept every bit of 2 hours, their parents slept almost all of that same time, and their dog Dixie laid on me, almost nose to nose with me, and we snored together for almost that same 2-hour period. It was glorious, and I enjoyed every second of the passage of time spent recharging my dog-cuddle batteries. And after the nap (s) an amazing ham dinner with all the fixin’s was put together, my oldest granddaughter came to join us for the meal, and we just sat wherever we could find a spot to spend some quality time enjoying each other’s company.

It rained all day on Sunday and we spent it watching the kids watch countless Disney movies while we just prattled on about whatever subject came up, laughing and giggling and- in my case – being climbed on as if I was a cat tree by the four-year-old that simply could not get enough quality time with her “Djiadji”. For whatever reason, she is obsessed with my “Hermit hat” in all its 10-year seasoned Beauty, and because she just would not let it go that I needed to take a picture of her wearing it. for posterity:

I have posted here, before, that I have an epic screensaver which I turn to regularly to slow my brain down and step away from a writing project long enough to collect my thoughts. Needless to say, she has been added and will forever smile back at me whenever her picture pops up, along with her brother and the trail at the top of this entry.

As I close this piece, if you take nothing else away from it, take away the reminder that in the general scheme of things, 48 hours isn’t a terribly long time, yet it can be a life-altering peace of our longer Journey on this spinning little blue complicated ball in the cosmos. It certainly was for me.


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