August 23, 2008
By Charlotte Barr, Greenville, SC

I looked across the room. My eyes fell upon a overbearing, darkly stained with the grain of the wood hardly visible, antique bookshelf. A thick brown picture frame preserved, marked, and connected a young family consisting of a woman, man, and three young children. Their lives, state of mind, and feeling of security were visible through their naturally beaming faces. The young children, who appear to be between the ages of four and ten, giggle as their father makes a corny joke. The people held inside the thick, brown, frame, are seated in front of a massive, overbearing tree; one which has a vast importance to the family, growing as the family has grown itself.

Looking down, a brightly red painted wood comes into view. An older woman, man, and three young adults stand positioned identically to the previous picture. The tree’s branches have thickened and are in obvious need of pruning. Two slobbering, novice, enthusiastic golden retrievers are positioned amongst the five adults of varying age. This scene is captured between the red frames open center. The faces of the three young adults are smiling politely, but grow impatient. The woman and man look tired, but enjoy the company of their three children and pets. The golden’s copious joy oozes with every drop of drool splashing to the floor. This is their natural state of beaming glow.

The ripple of time is latently apparent from one picture to the next. The occurrence of what has happened to the young family is not obvious to the naïve onlooker, but time has most definitely gone on and life as a whole has changed. The people who make up the family seen within the picture frame will never be the same people they were at that very moment. With every second of time that passes, the individuals have changed and grown a step closer to the people of the red frame, and even closer to the people who they are today.

Glancing across the room, once again I count five standing happily in the kitchen. Their laughs explain the wrinkles that are visible across each of their faces; deeply set in their faces like wrinkles of time. Each mark deepened with a memory of joy or bliss that resulted in a smile of outburst of laughter. This discovery reveals the penalty of joy and possibly even pain. Wondering eyes land upon the sleeping dogs, their gleaming faces with matching coats have dulled. Blissful eyes are the only representation of a time of youthful drooling, and novice enthusiasm the dogs once embodied; while graying hair is visibly seen in all the beings of age.

If a picture was taken at this very moment, the steps of life would be apparent. Even if the woman, man, three children, and two dogs are not in front of the tree, change would be visible. From the very moment the family left the tree and that spot in time, they changed. The tree changed, and all life changed as well. Change doesn’t halt for anything. The tree will change like before and always will like the relentless forging of a train. The golden retrievers will loose their shiny coats and their enthusiastic approach at the task at hand. The people’s mortal bodies alter like a parabola created by a frog leaping from lily pad to the next. Each second in the air can never be changed nor regained, but is crucial to the next step and to fulfill life itself.

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