Britta Gustafson: Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking |

Britta Gustafson: Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking

Britta Gustafson
Then Again

Sometimes it feels as though only when the clock stops might we catch a glimpse of real life.

And summer’s time feels different from the time-keeping pace of the winter. Life seems more connected by the rhythms of Earth’s cycles when it’s at a summer clip. But the scramble to make the most of our short and sweet summer seasons keeps us moving so fast that I’m not sure we can drink it all in the same way that I recall childhood summers lingering on my lips.

Perhaps I’m daunted by school’s commencement or maybe it’s the wind down from such a gorgeous summer that has me subtly preparing to mourn for those long-lost, lazy summer days — days that I somehow feel we missed out on during this quickly passing glorious but far too short, sunny season stint.

The moment I see school-supply lists and notice the calendar closing in on me, I start to scramble to make the most of what time we have left before all the hustle and bustle begins again. But time is a precious commodity, the only thing we can’t stop or create more of, and it’s ever present passage creeps up almost unnoticed until it’s gone.

As a Snowmass family, we did it all didn’t we? Made it to most of the concerts, attended a few rodeos and farm-to-table meals at Elk Camp. Even while working all summer we still managed to camp, hike, bike and swim. We spent our Saturdays at the farmer’s market and watched our gardens grow.

But it went by in a busy blur and I didn’t feel as if I was living in the present, even if I was.

Perhaps one day I will look back fondly at photos and their memories will preserve that sense of endless summer from a bygone era. But right now I feel a bittersweet sadness settling in. Not only is our treasured and already compressed summer coming to an end, but an irreplaceable quantity of time has further passed by, heightening within me a sense of bereavement.

I know I’m not alone, so what are we doing to ourselves these days? Why are we in such a hurry? Or was it always like this and I couldn’t see it except through the eyes of my young children?

Do kids today feel as rushed? Or do they feel that sluggish, relaxed, no-worries world around them while I’m busy packing the picnics, pumping up the paddle boards, making the lemonade, gearing up and gearing down?

I hope they do. I hope that while they sit on a swing, roll down the hills, chase the grasshoppers and play in the muddy creeks they are unaware of the time flying by even as they continue to grow up right before my eyes.

Let’s exchange a piece of my mind for a little peace of mind; after all, if we always agree what will we talk about? Britta Gustafson appreciates an open mind. Share yours and email her at


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