The host led us to the back of the restaurant, through the swinging doors, and to the immaculate white-linen table in the midst of the chaotic kitchen. Chefs, line cooks, and servers bustled around us. We were celebrating a belated Christmas gift – a four-course feast right at the “Chef’s Table” in the heat of it all. For three hours, we watched the often-hidden mystery of how decadent culinary creations are frantically created in a complex system. Under the bright lights, loud clangs, and orders shouted, exquisite plates made their way out to quiet dining rooms to hushed conversations over candle-light. Busy, efficient, and beautiful, the kitchen staff raced around us like we were but an invisible feature of the kitchen.
There are times that this year has felt just like those three hours. Away from work, from our community, from our home, we wait as time goes on around us. I spend my days alone with our boys as I shuttle them to bus stops, preschool, and appointments. I orient my hours around nursing an infant, fitting in school work, picking up the house, cooking dinner, welcoming my beloved home, and preparing lunch for another day. My parents visited this weekend and as I waved goodbye to them at the airport, I couldn’t help but feel like it would be an eternity until I saw them again. And yet I returned to our sabbatical home knowing that these five months still have something yet to teach me. The year is not done with me yet.
TIME eludes me – slipping out from my hands, laughing at my attempts to hold it steady.
TIME contains me – measuring, ordering, and claiming me in its passing.
TIME slays me – cutting my stride at the knees when future thoughts cause me to assume that it is passing faster than it is.