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Sunday, July 5, 2015

I know you're in there, you're just out of sight

Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Well I'm not the kind to live in the past

The years run too short and the days too fast

The things you lean on, the things that don't last

Well it's just know and then my line gets cast into these

Time Passages

I know you're in there, you're just out of sight"

-- lyric, Al Stewart, "Time Passages" 1978

I hope you had a pleasant Memorial Day weekend. It's funny how three days seem to go by as quickly as two, isn't it? Then, on Monday, you know in your mind that it is Monday, but it feels as if you are in a time loop on Sundays.

It is good that we get a brief respite after the hectic pace of May.

Unfortunately, we won't get another until the mid-point of summer, July 4, and another at the end of summer, Labor Day. I hate to even mention them, because they truly will be here before we know it.

The song lyric at the start of this column is from a song that was popular when I was in high school. At 17, I really never understood or appreciated the song's meaning, just enjoyed the catchy tune.

But as I age, I can relate more and more to being caught in time passages. This weekend, I experienced a huge one.

A couple of Madison's high school classmates got married on Saturday, and we were invited to and attended the wedding. It was a lovely ceremony, simple but profound. The reception was pleasant as well, catching up with people we haven't seen for a while.

There's a Subaru commercial where a father is giving guidance to his daughter, who is setting out on a drive. The father is talking to an eight-year-old for most of the spot. Then, at the end, she becomes the young adult she really is, not the little girl that her father remembers and wants to protect.

I mention this ad because I believe many of us feel this way about our children. As I observed the two young adults exchanging wedding vows on Saturday, I couldn't help but picture them as younger versions of themselves. I don't have a vivd enough imagination to pull off the same effects as the car ad, but it was profound.

I'm sure many of you have had the same experience.

There was something about these young people getting married that triggered a wave of good memories, tinged with the knowledge that so much time has passed. Here they were, all grown up and getting married.

How can this be?

That's when I felt the waves of time passages.

They say your life flashes before you when you are in a near-death experience, but I think it happens much more often. This wedding and reception, seeing all of these people I knew as children now grown adults, hammered the point home to me.

I have a theory as to why these moments of clarity are so profound. The opportunities don't present themselves very often and we are simply too wrapped up in the daily struggle that is called life. The old expression "out of sight, out of mind" plays a role in this dance as well.

We spend so much of our life each and every day swimming upstream in an effort to make a living to provide for our families that we rarely have time to catch our breath, let alone revel in what is going on around us.

While waiting in the receiving line, I was trying to think of something original to say, other than "congratulations." I resisted the urge to recall something from their childhoods and simply wished them all the best.

I know that they will be happy together, and, in the end, that is all that truly matters.

As always, I welcome your comments. You can reach me by email at tstangl@lemarscomm.net, telephone 712-546-7031, x40 or toll free 1-800-728-0066 x40.

Thanks for reading, I'll keep in touch. Feel free to do the same.

By Tom Stangl
From the publisher's desk