There I was, sitting in a small room in a village in the province of Brabant. There were flowers and candles, the sun was shining through the windows, the music was sweeping me away, and I thought about the life we had just said goodbye to: the mother of New Love.
She was 93 when she passed away. And that made me think about time. What if I live to that age? It made me feel rather calm. After all, with so much time ahead of you, everything becomes less urgent. You can still do so much. Later.
I thought back to my childhood, when time was of no importance. Life felt so much simpler then. Summer vacations that never seemed to stop, idle days spent on our sailboat, endless outdoor games. Days blurred into each other, without any notion that I had to do something; that my time was precious.
Does life feel like that too, when you’re really old? Could it possibly feel secretly great that time slips away like that? That the days merge into each other again? Or would you actually be acutely aware that time really is running out, and regret everything that hasn’t happened in your life? I was sorry that I wasn’t able to ask New Love’s mum.
Time passed, and her life was portrayed in a series of images and words. And as I sat there, I thought of a quote by the French poet Louis Aragon: Un beau soir l’avenir s’appelle le passé (One beautiful evening, the future shall be called the past).
Irene, together with Astrid, is the founder and creative director of Flow Magazine. She lives with her children (10 and 13, co-parenting) in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Each Friday, she writes about how various Mindfulness lessons apply in her daily life.