Time is one of those things you can't really manipulate. You can manage it and be accountable for it, but you can never stop its progress or speed its momentum.
It's un-manipulative-able and deaf to all our pleas.
But imagine if time were a natural resource we mined or harvested or could synthetically re-create in a lab - if it were our currency.
Imagine if we could get time in 5 minute increments. How much would you buy?
We could invest it and trade it, hoard it in pantries and hide it in the underwear drawer, and we'd never-ever-ever have enough. Never.
Instead of "buying on time" we'd buy with time and all our homes would be worth their time in hours, or we'd be upside down and the banks would foreclose while we asked for more time, just a little more.
The fancy-pants would buy imported time and the purists would buy locally-harvested, organic time. Corn wouldn't drive the cost of everything this winter - a weak harvest of time would.
Our kids would ask for some extra time. We'd argue with our spouses about how we spend our time and we'd work out budgets and cut out those time-suckers and really pare down the wasted minutes.
Because time would be money and that would make it valuable. Right?
But we don't buy time. We only spend it and there's no choice in how much, only in how well.
She asks for a little time last night before bed and I stress, all emphatic and motherly, how late it is and how tired I am and how much is left to do downstairs and...
I give in. I flop on her bed and just disappear for awhile, time ticking by and standing still at once. The roof doesn't cave in and the world keeps spinning. Amazing. Why do I always resist this slowing down, and then complain about how fast they grow up?
Soon the whole family has gathered upstairs, sprawled on the floor and hanging over the edge of the bed. They've found us wasting time together and it's irresistible indulgence, like chocolate chip cookie dough and spoons for everyone.
Together, all six of us. Laughing and harvesting time for this moment, because we will remember this moment, we'll cherish it and live off of it when times are lean.
Tim and I play 'Dead Cockroach' at Jacob's request and our knees shake. I lose, the first one to wear out, but this is a winning kind of lose because we're all together.
We wrestle and tickle and these kids are stronger than they should be, aren't they? They're all toothy grins.
The phones don't ring and I can't see the laundry piles from up here. Nothing is urgent. Everything can wait except the people we love.
Memories are a harvest of time, stored up as they are shared and multiplied in their extravagant spending sprees. Worth every minute.
She smiled this morning at the remembrance, and it was like we doubled our money.