I saw my ten thousandth sunrise this year. One of those mornings, the sun rose on one no longer unversed in time. I have chewed the fruit of bitter truths. It is those seeds I wish to plant in receptive ears:
People, hear me! Your remaining days are numbered in that finite forest that stretches before you. We can no longer afford to race through the woods, eyes shut, screaming, torches aloft. Though the future may be far off and fireproof, today is tinder for the flame. Inattention’s slightest spark may ignite a fire that can blaze for years. The embers of idle months still smoulder on the scorched land at our backs, ready to be whipped up into a greedy inferno that would gladly consume the rest of our days. The flames lick at our wristwatches. They swallow calendar pages whole and belch out the ashes.
We are made of flesh and blood and bone and breath, bound by cosmic law to ripen and shrivel. The world turns beneath our feet. Standing still is an illusion. We are compelled to charge forward into the future, though the road ahead is impassable with thorny vines. Each day, we clear a little more of the forest and drag its severed limbs onto the rubbish heap of the past. On certain days when the wind is right, smoke from these pyres blows into the present, where their harsh reminders are fanned anxiously from our eyes. Sometimes the soot blackens our faces. We scrub at our frowns in the mirror, trying to forget. But with each swing of the scythe, the path behind grows longer, while what waits ahead shrinks. Each day we wake up, we are closer to that final night. Each inhale is another breath scratched from our account. With each moment that passes, that moment is lost.
I have seen ten thousand sunsets, and I do not want to age another day still clutching my head and wailing, “Where did the time go?”