How I slow down the passage of time

By Benny Huckleberry as told to Liz Hoffmann | Aug 16, 2019

This morning my human was lamenting about how quickly the summer was passing.

“Gosh, Benny, it’s already mid-August! Where does the time go?”

She was concerned and looked a bit sad, since I know she loves the summer and the warm weather. I didn’t answer her with a bark or yip, because I think that she was asking a rhetorical question. Rhetorical or not, it got me thinking. Where does the time actually go? It’s confusing, since usually when things go away, they change their physical location. You know, they “go away” and leave our sight and where they have been previously. So, when we say that time goes away, too, what exactly do we mean? And since time isn’t a physical thing you can hold, exactly what is it that goes away?

I bet you must be wondering “Why does this handsome rescue dog Benny think about such wondrous things?” Especially when many dogs spend most of their day thinking about chasing squirrels, their next meal, or where to lift their leg. Well, I definitely think about those things, too, but I also think about more serious things. Especially when my human asks me a question about something. My goal is to please her and be her very best friend, and so I want to come up with an answer.

Back to the question of where the time goes. Well, it seems to me that time doesn’t really go anywhere, but instead, it gets folded up into who we are. We get more time under our belt, so to speak. Or for us dogs, more time under our paws. We become older and wiser, and with any luck, more grateful! We have memories to look back on, some good and some bad. We also have future plans to anticipate, as well as worries about things which may happen someday. We see-saw back and forth from past to future on a continuum we call "time," but we never really stay in the present moment. And in my estimation, that is why time seems to pass so quickly, since we never really relish it, bit by bit, while we are actually in it.

When I was a rescue pup and had not enjoyed the good life, time seemed to stand still. It was if I were holding my breath, hoping that nothing bad would happen. I was fearful of the future, trying to forget the past, and was totally focused on the present moment trying to stay safe. Time did not pass quickly back then, when my survival was at stake. That taught me that to slow down the passage of time, I must stop spending time in the past, and stop spending time in the future. It’s hard to do, for sure. But when I just focus only on this moment, like I did when I was scared, time seems to slow. There is no continuum within which to incorporate and blend the present moment, so it doesn’t get lost. I hold only the present moment in my mind, which is, as a result, quite rich and robust. And with that practice, time seems to stand still and not go anywhere.

I hope that you will try this. To be in the moment and let the past and future fall away, just for a moment. And then for another moment. And then another. When you savor all the moments one by one you will see, time really does slow down. Trust me on this. With love, Benny H.

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