I was looking at a little sterling silver ring that I have which has Amber on the top as the gemstone. I like Amber. It’s one of only a few things that humans use in jewelry that once was a part of another living thing. In this case it is tree sap, which dates anywhere from 150 million to 300 million years old, which has hardened and fossilized into gorgeous hues of color ranging from bright orange to a warm honeyed brown. Sometimes, and rarely, the more recent pieces of Amber have some type of insect trapped inside. They landed on the tree sap when it was sticky, got trapped, and ended up totally incased in the sap, which then hardened around it.

These rare pieces of Amber with the insects inside have been the subject of many fictional works. They were the entire basis for how dinosaurs were recreated in Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park”. A “Dragonfly in Amber” was a book by Diana Gabaldon which she used as a representation of something of great beauty which is preserved, and exists out of its proper time….in the case of this novel it was one of Gabaldon’s characters who represented the dragonfly.

Many human beings are interested in these types of things. To me, they represent something tangible which I can hold in my hand that has such great age that I can barely comprehend it. Here is something which has existed for thousands of a human’s lifetime, and within it is contained a once living creature who’s life ended by the chance of landing on something from which it could not escape.

Time also fascinates me. The age of our planet is almost beyond my comprehension. The fact that a creature which has been spawned by this planet could evolve to the point where he or she could consider that vast amount of time amazes me.

As a student in Geology classes, we learned all the ages, that are used to classify the passage of time of our home planet. We learned how life developed slowly over long periods of that time.

Ordinary Days

Ordinary days. There is something good to be said for ordinary days.

Quiet times. Still times. These are the times for meditation and thought. These are the times for spiritual renewal. You do not have to be in a large group of people. You don’t have to be in a large building.

These semi sleepy slow days are best. They restore my sanity and give me hope for the future. They help me to understand that the extraordinary things which take place that end up on the news every day affect a small percentage of the population. For the rest of us, there are these regular ordinary days.

I’m glad for them. I’d rather not have a day where I end up on the news.

Longing for October

Right about now, I long for October. I don’t like to wish time away, and I do love fresh tomatoes, squash and okra….but…

It’s not just the Fall itself, but the things that it brings with it. It seems as October rolls in, families become closer. When the leaves start to turn, and the air turns cool and fresh, pumpkin pies, and jack o lanterns are not long off. Turkey smells, and dressing delights are around the corner. December and Christmas loom in the near future.

I will be 68 this October if all is well. Fifty years since I turned 18, fifty years since I moved off down to West Georgia, fifty years since I met my wife. Fifty years already since Martin and Bobby were killed. Fifty years since Vietnam was in full swing. Fifty years since I dreamed of so many things that have not come true, but have lived through fifty years of joys and sorrows which have been the substance of my life.

Fifty Autumns come this October if my luck and my health hold out. Fifty years and life is so different now than it was then, that it seems like an alien world now sometimes. I feel lost in it sometimes. Much more so than in 1968. I felt at home back then, in those days…in my time, and the time of my fellow boomers.

So when the first Autumn winds start to blow, these memories will blow in with them, and though I will continue to live in the moment, nostalgia will at the same time transport me back in time occasionally. I don’t think there’s any harm in it as long as we do not let the past rule us and ruin our present.

Fifty years from now, we’re going to be in somebody else’s nostalgia trip memories, and I can only hope theirs will give them as much pleasure as mine do for me. I so very, very much hope that.