‘Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.’
The words are those of the science fiction writer, Ray Cummings, and they are as near as some (perhaps most) of us get to understanding ‘time’. We are familiar with the concept of past, present and future, but time-travel and other such complexities we prefer to leave to the physicists.
Similarly, space is beyond our comprehension. There seems to be a lot of it – no end to it – but neither words nor mathematical equations adequately explain what space is.
But my concern here is with time. Time obviously ‘was’ before I was born and ‘will be’ when I have gone. I am but a tiny speck in a long continuum. So how do I make the most of that speck I have been allocated?
I find it helpful to liken my life to a windsock, passing through space and time. The inside is a honeycomb of cells offering opportunities and experiences. A cross-section of the ‘sock’ reveals the range of choices at any given ‘now’. Like the windsock the past trails away and diminishes; the future does not yet exist (and when it does it will be the present, the ‘now’).
The ‘frontline’ of my life is now. I must make the most of it while I can.
See also Stop acting your age!