Minutes make an hour, hours make a day;
Days make months and then a year as time goes on its way.
April has a birthday and blooming spring as well;
June is time for marriage with announcements in the mail.
A concert in the part, a folksy sort of tune—
We get that thing in August, and then we’re back to June.
January’s freezing, March is constant rain;
The rooster crows for sunshine but its pleadings are in vain.
May brings forth the flowers, the grass grows lush and green;
October brings us cider and the greatest pumpkin scene.
Love in February makes couples coo and swoon;
The baby’s getting older, and then we’re back to June.
Patriotic fervor—we find it in July;
We camp by lazy rivers with the waters flowing by.
Dad is getting older, Mother’s older too;
Then there is the funeral of your great aunt Mary Lou.
Still midnight in its darkness gives way to light of noon;
The sun and stars keep chasing, and then we’re back to June.
The frost of late September finds us ever planning;
We’re cleaning up the garden, harvesting, and canning.
Family comes to visit as December rushes in;
The life and love of Jesus makes us pause and think again.
But nothing lasts forever, and it’s over far too soon;
As forward life goes marching, and then we’re back to June.
And though we cannot stop it, time can be a friend;
If we learn the lessons that all those minutes send.
And so I sit this morning in November’s chilly dew;
Life is an adventure; I hope you think so too!
Then looking up to heaven I see a waning moon—
And when you blink, I vanish, and then you’re back to June.
Nothing marks the passage of time quite like a birthday. It is that annual slap in the face that says you are getting older and mortality is something you have no control over. Not that this is news or not noticed at other times during the year, but birthdays have a way of making that knowledge more real and present.
As I was anticipating an approaching birthday, I was put to reflection. With kind of a start, I realized that somewhere, sometime, somehow, those I love got old. A grandmother is recovering from a serious fall, broken bones, collapsed lung, and lots of pain. An older family friend is now in a wheel chair and also having significant challenges related to age. Even my parents, who always seemed invincible, have shown signs that time waits for no one.
And so, I find myself staring at none other than the wheel of time and the circle of life. These wheels roll the cart that transports us from birth to death and the great beyond. Getting past the initial shock of your own mortality, however, reveals this little gem: there is something beautiful about each season of life. Just like the months bring change, so does growth, development, and age; and embracing that change brings peace and even, sometimes, joy.
I wanted to capture the feeling of change and progression in the poem. Apart from the constant rotating of the months as the years go by, the poem starts out with birth, blossoming of youth, marriage, family, aging, and death of loved ones. It points out the highs and lows, times of enjoyment, times of sorrow, and times of contemplation and reflection. And then, like those who have gone before, it will be our time to say goodbye.
As the wheels keep ever rolling. . . .
Written: March 29, 2019