2427 Mar 2015
There is a line of a song I enjoy that says, "How come 24 hours sometimes seem to slip into days?" The song goes on about homesickness and being lonely on a trip. For the longest time, I identified with that line in regards to aging. The older we get, the faster time seems to pass us by. What are we doing with the limited time we have available?
This weekend while traveling I met a man who was spending his remaining years cycling for peace. He had a big banner strapped to the side of his bicycle with a peace message written in large, thick, block letters. I spent an afternoon walking downtown with him and hearing about his experiences. He was more than twice my age, has a academic degree, and had a stable income before he decided to start his cycling journey. He showed me photos of his travels including the time agents at the border helped him repair a tire and the time he got an infection on his foot while cycling through particularly wet area. After a quick lunch we parted ways.
A year ago today I was getting rid of my belongings and stuffing what few bags would fit in the cab that was to take me to start a new life in another city. I had no idea a year later I'd be typing this in a different country with the sound of a Norwegian woman playing "Gje meg handa din, venn" on the keyboard in the same room or that I'd be ruminating over an annoyingly candle lit dinner with a new friend through Earth Hour.
The song and that line have changed in meaning for me. I used to think experiences were for me alone - to be kept locked away and brought out only when I wanted to relive them. The people I've met over the last year have taught me it's important to share them with others, to give something back to those who share with us. Hopefully those we share with will still remember after our hours stop turning into years and start turning into decades.
The man with the bike certainly thought so. But maybe he just wanted a free lunch.