May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back.
Time is an interesting concept, varying between:
“We have all the time in the world!” and “There’s never enough time!”
The ancient Greeks had two words for Time: while Chronos signified the chronological, sequential, busy time, Kairos referred to an ideal, a time that was open and full of potential, waiting for something to occur.
There are those of us who tend to measure time by the clock and calendar…this is Chronos time: productive, rational, consumptive, sometimes rather driven. It often doesn’t feel as if there is enough time in the day for all we want to accomplish.
Kairos time, on the other hand, is more spacious and restorative…sacred time. When we are in this time space we are more mindful and it can feel as if we have all the time in the world.
There is a saying in the Talmud (a collection of Jewish writings): Who forces time is pushed back by time; who yields to time finds time on their side.
If you think of time as a river, the metaphor from the Talmud is clearer. The power of the river simply carries everything along with it. Living in time, we are always in that flow.
I often feel that the summer months provide an opportunity to spend more days in Kairos time, giving ourselves space for time to just flow. The image of floating in a tube down the Puntledge River comes to mind. The river’s flow determines your journey and the time it will take to arrive at your destination. It is a good way to imagine not fighting time, to let go, to let the river carry you.
I think that if we can manage our Chronos time well we can create those spaces for Kairos time…and Kairos time can provide the re-creative spaces that our minds need and that can transform our experiences as we return to our more scheduled lives in the fall.
The Celtic poet John O’Donohue said: “I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”
May our summer living unfold in spacious ways…may there be days when we feel as if we have all the time in the world.