My philosophy professor once lectured for an entire three-hour block on how there really isn't a present. I distinctly remember how I felt that day after class. For a small period of time, I was acutely aware that all experience--absolutely everything, was divided between the past and the future. For me, the present no more existed. I can't quite remember how long I remained mesmerized (dumbfounded might be a better word) by the possibility of an absence of the present-truthfully, it was probably only minutes. Regardless, I know that during whatever time span my mesmerized state lasted, I felt somehow changed by it.
Fast-forward ten years to my "present." I am divorced, have 2 children, and am fighting and groping for some sort of reassurance that the "present" does indeed exist. The past summer my oldest child was baptized. Along with the excitement and feelings of pride, I was confused that I felt surprise and disbelief that it was really time for Sierra to be baptized. The moment I saw her standing next to her grandfather, dressed in white, I became engulfed in the realization that, Sierra's entire 8 years of life ran together into a big blob known as the "past," and her "future" was racing ahead of me so far, and at such velocity, that I had no hope of catching it. Catching it is exactly what I wanted.
Catching what? The "present," of course. 8 years have flown by, and I don't feel any older than the day the nurse placed her in my arms. The time from birth to baptism is really just a blink of time. Her first year of life, the funny toddler years, learning to read-all are etched in my memory as if they were happening right now, but so long ago. Sierra's baptism reminded me of my philosophy professor. Yes, there is a past-yes, there is a future. The present? I've decided it will exist in my children.