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Long Ago and Far Away

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Long Ago and Far Away

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Long ago and far away begins many a tale.  As sentient beings, we have a need to travel through time and distance.  As far as we know, we are the only life forms that have that ability.  Being human often means that we have a need to relive an event from the past, reimagine a previous event with an entirely different outcome, or simply attempt to process our collections of memories.  There is a line of thinking that suggests we should not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.  The mortals that we are, have a great need to make sense of past events. Replaying the tapes of the past is a gift we often receive in order to make sense of the present.


We all make decisions every day.  Every decision is then followed by some action, even if that action is to sit and seemingly do nothing. In those moments where I survey the result of decisions past, I feel both gratitude and horror; often simultaneously.  Those recollections often give me pause.  Life’s a wonderful and strange occurrence.  While my life has been largely wonderful, I have sometimes been strange.  Much to my chagrin. It would seem that knowing better and doing better are entirely different things.  There have been many times when I knew better, but did what I wanted to anyway.  That’s the stuff that long ago and far away are made of.


Today is the day where we get to live in the result of our actions, good or not-so-good.  I planted a red maple in my front yard a year ago.  It is doing wonderfully.  There is that part of me that wishes I had done it several years earlier; unfortunately, I couldn’t get out of the planning phase.  Often the best time to have planted something was years ago.  The second-best time is today. Don’t miss your opportunity. Soon it will be long ago, and far away.


David Bates



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