I think I would want to meet Marley (of Marley & Me fame). Or Ralph Waldo Emerson. Or Lassie. Or maybe myself as a puppy. There are so many places I would want to go and things I would want to see. There would be lessons to learn, joy to share and life to live.
The same could be said if I opted to travel to the future, where dogs can safely drive cars and I can meet the dog who will replace me in the hearts of my people. I wondered today what I would do first if I invented a time machine. Would I go to the past, stay in the present or fast forward to the future? One may never know.
What I do know is woulds coulds and shoulds are no way to live. I think I would be a pretty busy doggie if I could travel through time, but something about the idea catches my heart. Time is a constant. It comes and goes, ebbs and flows. It keeps moving even when we wish it would stop and slows down when we want it to speed up. I can’t change that.
Instead I can embrace words like will, can, and shall. These are the words of today, the present that is the present. As nice as it would be to have a time machine, it’s not (yet) one of life’s little luxuries. But joy is. You can find it wherever you look. You can see it in precious moments of a passing day. You can hear it in words from family and loved ones. From the ground up, it’s about the now much more than the future or the past.
“Time has been transformed, and we have changed,” suggested Lebanese philosopher Khalil Gibran. “It has advanced and set us in motion, it has its face, inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration.”
I do still think it would be fun to wrestle with Marley or pick the brains of Emerson and Lassie. And it would be even more exciting to share such things with the future version of myself. But I don’t need a time machine to learn lessons, share joy and live life. I have the present for that.