Sunday, August 10, 2008


With blue-ish brown eyes, the little hapa girl sits perched in the green supermarket wagon swinging her legs, laughing. I conclude that she thinks we're playing a game of “peek a boo.” And so she laughs some more. The truth of the matter is that I’m actually trying to sleep, or at least get some rest from the night before. When I open my eyes to check if she’s still watching me, she smiles and squeals with a giggle. From her perspective we’re playing a fun game.

I’m trying to rest my eyes and still my shaky body. It’s shaky from the adrenaline rush from the late night before, exhausted from the lack of sleep. I finished writing my chapter draft at 4am and woke up at 7:30am to head out for the morning’s plans. I can feel the age in my body. I’m too old to do this.

As the little girl pretends to hand over her cookie to me, I smile and pause to philosophically wonder why bodies must age. Why must we grow old? And why does time always have to move forward?

The notion of time—of stopping time, of going back in time, of time travel into the future—has been a fascination of writers, poets, scientists and film directors. It’s as if the human soul, in the midst of life’s busyness and in the midst of life’s joys and pain, secretly yearns to stop…to pause long enough to be still. And perhaps it is not so much that we desire to recapture our youth, or that we want to know the future, or that we want to be someplace else but here. Perhaps it’s just the paradox of knowing that even in our most still moments, time still moves forward. And that we cannot stop it. We can only pass through it. And in knowing and recognizing this, we must come face to face that this thing called life is so much bigger than us.

We can’t control time. Nor can we control life. We can only surrender to it. And acknowledge that there is a bigger force, a greater universe, and more powerful God who cares for us more than we can ever imagine.

Peek a boo.

What our eyes see and what our minds know is so limited in comparison to the unknown of that which is not yet seen.

The little girl waves her open palms at me and lets out another squeal. I open my eyes and catch her watching. She laughs uncontrollably. And I smile.

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