I saw time in Scotland, watched it wash over the hills around me, and pass by, as if a stranger on a sidewalk moving faster than me.
Here – in the frantic United States, within the business of my home, under the stress of work, with bustling kids – I feel time, within the beats of my heart, feel its heaviness on my shoulders, and know it lives in my mind as I hear, ‘weneedtohurryup, let’sgolet’sgolet’sgo…” playing over and over, like a song stuck on repeat. Here, time lies within me, an annoying tap on my brain every few minutes.
In the photograph above, after the click of the shutter, I watched time.
I stood silent and still, as the cloud’s shadows moved over the hills, as sunlight streamed and flowed onto rocks and water until it finally reached me and I felt it, the heat and warmth closing my eyes, allowing me to breathe. Time was now a physicality and I could stand outside and watch it pass, unmoved by its presence except to stand in awe. Moments passed and yet I felt no change of time. Previously in my life, when checking on time, it seemed to move forward like a race car. Here, it passed like the growth of a flower, happening but through the passage of light over land.
I didn’t notice when time seeped out of my body in Scotland, didn’t feel its dramatic escape, just noticed that while hiking, that I had no notice of time. I wore no watch, didn’t carry my cell phone and only felt the presence of the present. Not where I had been or where I was supposed to be but now. I suppose because where I had been didn’t matter and where I was supposed to be was exactly here, within these hills.
How is it places seep into our blood? How did these hills and this light find their way through my sinuous muscles, through my blood vessels, tightly packed together until they reached their destination, all four chambers of my heart, where they spread themselves as if a drop of water on paper, spreading out to inhabit every cell, like a beautiful watercolor?
Place, a three dimensional space which consists of our view, our interpretations, something we cannot hold or taste, something we inhabit.
And this place, these hills, that light now inhabits me.
I am thankful.