Is it really June 3rd already? I’m amazed at how quickly the time passes. It seems to me that time is an extremely ambiguous commodity. It’s a difficult concept to get a handle on. Male or female, rich or poor; time passes just the same. Yet there can be times in our lives when it may appear to pass more quickly or more slowly. That, however, is merely our own perception. We are each allotted a specific quantity of time. How much, no one knows. What we do know is that each of us on this earth has a beginning and an end. Time waits for no one.
As I’ve grown older; I’ve become considerably more careful about how I use my time. Occasionally, I look back and reflect on all the time I’ve spent on foolish, frivolous things and it saddens me. But what’s done is done and what’s past is past. There’s nothing I can do about it and I’m certainly not going to waste the time I still have worrying about things that cannot be changed.
To be honest, I’m not sure I’d change anything if I could. There are things I wish hadn’t happened; things I wish I hadn’t done, but I believe in the adage that, ‘God will let you go where you need to go in order to get where you need to be.’
It’s comforting to know that everything we’ve done in our lives; the good and the bad; the wise and the not-so-wise has had a purpose. These are the things that have shaped and formed us; the things that have made each of us the truly unique individual we have become. We are the sum total of our experiences.
Even as I’ve written this sentence, time has passed us by. It’s gone. We cannot get it back, nor are there any guarantees of how much more of this precious gift we may have ahead of us. This moment in time is all we can be sure of. This moment is all we have.
We had quite a , brief as it may have been. The power of nature is amazing and at times, frightening. I love storms. I always have. There’s something about the power of a storm that beguiles me.
Unfortunately, several people were killed by tornados in the western part of the state, another testament to what I stated previously; we never know when or how our time on this earth will end.
New Englanders are largely unprepared for storms such as this, especially those of us who live in the southeastern section of Massachusetts. Tornados aren’t supposed to be a part of our weather bill of fare. They’re not something that we’re all that .
I’m old enough to remember Hurricane Carol, a category three storm that pummeled Mansfield on the last day of August back in 1954. Though I wasn’t quite six years old at the time, I can still recall the incredible devastation that it caused.
Carol packed wind speeds of up to one-hundred-thirty-five miles per hour, dumped four to five inches of rain on the area and destroyed more than four-thousand homes, thirty-five hundred cars and three-thousand boats throughout Southern Connecticut, Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Mansfield was left without power and telephone service for several days after the storm.
I remember driving around town to survey the damage with my Uncle Richard, my mother and father and my brother, Bruce, who was only about one-and-a-half years old at the time. There were trees that had been totally uprooted blocking many of the roads, most of which were badly flooded, and live power lines were down all over town, making for very dangerous conditions.
Carol was followed some eleven days later by her little sister, Hurricane Edna, which hit us with sustained winds of seventy-five to ninety-five miles per hour and dumped several more inches of rain on the already saturated New England landscape.
Of course, being a kid; I thought all this storm stuff was great. What could be better than living by candlelight, eating Fluffernutters for lunch or having Chef Boy-Ar-Dee and Franco-American Spaghetti heated up on a Coleman-type stove.
It seems to me that we had more frequent and more violent storms around these parts back when I was growing up. And we had never even heard the term, ‘Global Warming’. Go figure!
Ah, the good ole days!
Speaking of ‘the good ole days’, is it me or was the music back in the sixties the best music ever? Of course, I’m not totally unbiased on this subject. But if you grew up in that era, I’m sure you’ll concur.
My son, Chris, is thirty-eight years old and is a big fan of the music from the sixties and early seventies. He has a huge collection of Grateful Dead CD’s and also loves Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Cream, The Allman Brothers and of course, The Beatles, among many others.
Chris and I went to a Santana concert together a few years back and I was amazed at the age diversity of the crowd. There were teenagers and people in their sixties and seventies all rocking out together – clapping their hands and dancing in the aisles – amazing!
I think music is a great apparatus for bringing people together. I saw Remember Shakti with John McLaughlin several years ago. The band sits in a semi-circle when the play together. They are so tightly knit when they play; it seems as though they are of one mind. After seeing them live, one man said, “One thing musicians understand that politicians do not is if you sit and participate in a circle like this; it's really hard to want to blow up the other persons country.” Pretty profound!
Most of the musicians I admire for their art are probably far removed from my way of thinking philosophically, yet their music brings us together. It levels the playing field – puts us on common ground.
I use a lot of music in my online writing through the utilization of embedded links – mostly YouTube. There are times when music can say much more than I can convey in words. Music captures the emotions.
Well, this column was different. This is where my head led me so this is where we went.
Make it a great week!
Bob Havey is a freelance writer and a Mansfield native, currently living in Easton. His column "Take Me Back" appears every Friday at http://mansfield-ma.patch.com. His other column, "The View From Here", may be seen each Tuesday at http://easton-ma.patch.com.