TEXT/PHOTOS: ADRIAN DE GROOT
PORTRAIT PHOTO: MIA MEDAKOVIC
What can be the meaning of this article’s title, which is also this issue’s theme? To me, wind is invisible, but its effect is always felt. Its results can be seen, especially at this time of year when so many leaves have been blown from the trees and the most beautiful one happily landed in my face!
The wind carries new life in the spring time when seeds and pollen are being blown about. Without wind or air, birds and planes could not fly and we could not breathe. Wind is thus a most wonderful blessing, but also an awesome or awful thing at times. In a big snow storm, your entire backyard can be transformed into a mysterious snow landscape. We know the destructive force of hurricanes and tornadoes. Wind doesn’t belong to anyone and yet belongs to everyone.
But what is this metaphorical wind the title is undoubtedly hinting at? Does it have parallels with real wind? And are those literal years?
The wind equals aging? Did my grandmother ever dislike me because I was considered ”too young and immature”? No. She loved me so much and it was always such a feast to visit her. Should younger people disrespect their parents or grandparents because they are considered too old, not up to date with the times and its technology? It never bothered me (except during a few short years in my late teenage years), as I experienced their “time zones” as most fascinating. The old-fashioned way my grandmother cut a loaf of bread into slices is still cut into my memory.
What can be the meaning of “years do not count”? We all experience the timelessness of time. So often, at the end of the day I look at my watch and I realize it’s supposedly bedtime, but I feel I’m just getting started. In such cases I disobey all clocks and stay up much later. When I listen to the entire Fifth Symphony by Beethoven, at the end I will have a feeling that it lasted for hours. Time becomes totally timeless, totally elastic. I’m sure you all had those experiences.
People who were in a coma for a relatively short time and had a so-called Near Death Experience (NDE) may have the feeling they were gone for weeks or months. In a Star Trek movie, Captain Kirk was transported to another life by aliens and when he died in that life was back on the Starship Enterprise with just mere seconds having passed. NDEs and dreams are a bit like that.
The timelessness of time. Indeed, years don’t count because time is totally personal, subjective, relative, and elastic. Isn’t that exactly why we say “Time flies?” I keep joking that the next airline company I will travel on is called “Time Flies Inc.” and have that as their slogan. I will get to my destination in no time at all.
Ever been in a car with your children and they got bored and kept asking “Are we there yet”? But start a word guessing game with them and then time would fly again. Everything goes faster. Time is so elastic, like a rubber band. Ever talked with a friend or a loved one about a topic that interested you both so much that the sense of time completely went out of the window? Yes, time can pass through windows in case you didn’t know that already! Now, that’s time put into suspension! Like one of those Salvador Dali’s melted watches, were time is of no real consequence either.
Once upon a time, our editor in chief Mia wrote in this magazine the familiar phrase that we live in the “Eternal Now.” And yes, we do. Apart from spiritually attuned people, even physicists tell us the same. Recently I wrote an agreeing friend that “Love has no clock”. Old people also feel that age is never a limitation. About a month ago, a woman with 100 years on her clock went piggyback skydiving. Life has no clock. Fun has no age.
I could not control the time when I was born and to which parents, and neither can I control when my time comes to move on to far more exciting and timeless adventures. And while no one has any real control of time, nevertheless, yet mysteriously, so many times we do. I arrive on time for appointments; I accomplish tasks within a timeframe and I bake bread in 40 minutes. It’s amazing that I can control something I cannot even hold in my hands and which flies through my windows. Can I truly control the uncontrollable? Is that just an illusion? At any rate, I am so deeply grateful for these mysterious winds and years of time.
Time, years, wind and memories. Memories are like the wind. They blow in forwards and backwards. We can remember things that happened yesterday and beyond. And we can dream about and even plan the winds of tomorrow. Our memories and imaginations have and know no clock at all.
The winds of time may wrinkle our bodies, weaken our knees, make our hair grey and or even bald us and slow us down a bit, but as a grandfather already, I can safely say that my heart truly feels younger every day. I have not lost my boyishness, my sense of humor, my inner youth or my enthusiasm or zest for the timelessness of life, nor my ability to love and expand my circle of dear friends. My passion for all my hobbies and interests will also never die and knows no time. My love lost its clock as well, and young and old are free to love each other.
The winds of time equals love? Yes, it does. My slightly advanced years don’t count at all when viewed from a heart of love. The winds of time have blown much wisdom my way with so many experiences, blown me many life lessons, made me more loving, made me totally forgiving of others who hurt me and blown me into a kinder and more compassionate person. I learned from Eleanor Roosevelt who famously said that no one can hurt you unless you give consent. It’s indeed a matter of how you respond to what happens in your years, how you deal with those winds that try to blow you down. Sturdy steadfast trees are our best teachers.
In my youth and early adulthood, I didn’t always respond wisely to being hurt one way or other by bullies or other abusive people. Later I learned to apply forgiveness and even gratitude to every negative stormy wind as the best way to calm those stormy winds that try to hurt you. Forgiveness equals the wind erasing time. After all, anger and resentment mostly hurt your own self. Unconditional love for myself is my pivotal key to loving others and discovering that Divine Love is the substance I am made of.
St. Germaine said: “There is only one you. You are the object of God’s love, and in that love, there is no time.” My years and your years truly don’t count in the winds of Love. The eternal now is all ours to enjoy together. Love, which is eternal, will never have a clock. When you see and experience all of life and reality through the eyes of love, you will be sailing the winds of bliss for never ending timeless years.