Time. We never have enough of it. We run out of it. Time is of the essence and time is precious. It seems that a sense of time is deeply ingrained into the human experience. Just think of all the references we make to it.
Timeless beauty. Time heals all wounds. Time travel (don’t we wish). Time out. My how time flies. Prime Time. Your time is going to come (thank you, Led Zeppelin). Good sense of timing. Half time. Time Slips Away (thank you, Willie). Time to kill (when was the last time you could claim that?). Good times. And, of course, my personal favorite, time to go fishing.
We hail the great innovations as “time-savers”, as if you had some “time bank” to deposit the savings into for later redemption. Case in point, orange juice:
If you are of a certain age (i.e. really old) you can remember the dish with the ridged dome top that mom used to squish the juice from fresh oranges. Delicious yes, but very time-consuming. The lady of the house was happy to embrace the new frozen orange juice concentrate, just add 3 cans of water, hand the kid a wooden spoon and let them stir around and around until that orange lump finally dissolved completely. While that was quicker than squeezing oranges there was still more savings to be had. Enter pasteurized OJ in a handy carton. Just open and pour. Except that goofy carton with the “bend and fold out” spout never seemed to open very easily, there had to be a faster way. Yes indeed, our wishes were answered by the screw-off top, surely the epitome of convenience, could we ask for more? Apparently we could, because beneath the top was a foil seal that never seemed to tear off in one piece, delaying access to our breakfast beverage. Market research to the rescue, the foil was replaced by a ring tab insert you could pop out with one finger. Now we really seem to have gotten somewhere. Probably five minutes each morning, add that up for a couple decades and we’re talking real time here.
It is reasonable to conclude that so much cumulative savings in time has created a surplus that we can spend elsewhere, but as fast as we save time, time eaters chew it up. Red lights, the Secretary of State’s office, traffic jams, telephone conversations with the technical support guy, mowing the lawn, waiting for the cable guy. You are never going to get that time back, so you might as well stop worrying about it and find a way to make the best of the time you’ve got.
In this we could take a lesson from our canine friends. I am convinced that a dog’s view of time is radically different from ours. Humans are so “visual-centric” that we tend to perceive time as the passing of individual moments strung end to end. Time is the relationship we sense between the now and what we can recall from the moments that have passed. Vision being our predominant sense, it leads us to focus strongly on the present, as the past has little visual resonance.
In our four-legged friends it is the sense of smell that predominates. They not only sense what is in their immediate world now, but also, by the degree to which a scent has dissipated, what was here an hour or a day ago. Time compressed into a single perception, both the now and the past sharing equal billing. There are those who claim that dogs “live in the moment” and do not recall the past. I do not buy into that idea, and believe it reflects a very human way of thinking about what constitutes “now.” A dog’s “now” is so much more comprehensive than ours, a view of the world that suits their place in it. Hunters for centuries have recognized this ability in dogs, and used it to great advantage. What amazing creatures, so different from ourselves, yet so willing to live side by side with us. Humankind has benefited greatly from this relationship with dogs, and I think that our complementary sense of time is a significant part of the paths we have traveled together on this good earth.
I could go on about dogs for a good long while, and often do, but right now I haven’t got the time.
We all know the old proverb “Take the time to smell the roses,” to which I would add: take a deep breath in the spring woods, take a long look out across the water, listen carefully to the sound of the river, bask in the April sunshine when it returns but walk in the freshly fallen snow as well.
And smile as you remember this: Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
But, all kidding aside, I leave you today with two of my favorite quotes about time:
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. — Carl Sandburg
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. — Henry David Thoreau
See you on the water.
White Lake – Panfish fair to good but many small fish to sort through. Indian Bay for perch in approximately 50 feet of water on minnows and wigglers. Lyons Den and Wesleys for bluegill. Pike on tip ups in the narrows area. For the latest info on White Lake call Johnson’s Great Outdoors at 231-893-6688.
Muskegon – Snug Harbor for bluegills. 2nd St area had open water all the way to Johnson Point and was closed off. Call Snug Harbor Outfitters at 231-719-0759 for the latest information.
Muskegon River – Steelhead on spawn and waxworms.
Hamlin Lake – Bluegills reported as OK, but size was kind of small. For up to date Hamlin information call Hamlin Grocery at 231-843-2058.
Pere Marquette Lake – Pike action on tip-ups reported as good.
Portage Lake – Perch action has slowed, but a few for patient anglers.