. . . .
And those who return to the outer world... Children grow rapidly, forget the centuries-long embrace from their parents, which to them lasted but seconds. Children become adults, live far from their parents, live in their own houses, learn ways of their own, suffer pain, grow old. Children curse their parents for trying to hold them forever, curse time for their own wrinkled skin and hoarse voices. These now old children also want to stop time, but at another time. They want to freeze their own children at the center of time.
. . . .
Some say it is best not to go near the center of time. Life is a vessel of sadness, but it is noble to live life, and without time there is no life. Others disagree. They would rather have an eternity of contentment, even if that eternity were fixed and frozen, like a butterfly mounted in a case."
This is but one of Lightman's theoretical meanderings on time's impermanence. It is hard for my parents and I to accept our differences when one camp mostly embraces the past, and the other camp gravitates toward the future. Both camps are right though. To truly grow, we must change. To know the best way to change, we must know our history. Slowly we are on our way to the common ground that lies between the center and the far perimeter.