A man sits hunched over his writing desk. The evening breeze had long since dried up the lines of writing on the page before him. One hundred years down the line, the man is a renowned author, one of the finest to ever contribute to literature as we know it. His name is J.M Barrie, and he is the author of Peter Pan.
Of the many messages buried within this great book, from Peter, a boy refusing to grow up, to the Darling children, who too soon forget their childhood antics, the characters that in fact teach us the most about human nature are those who at first seem insignificant. The tyrannical Captain Hook, afraid of a crocodile that once consumed a pocket watch, and who now continuously chases after him. Metaphorically, man afraid of time catching up to him. Man afraid of death.
How can we consider time? Is it perhaps as some scientists claim, a fourth dimension to our three dimensional world? Maybe time is a rushing river, and we are pebbles thrown inside the turmoil. Or maybe time is a wheel – turning, turning, never stopping, each of us a small piece of the internal framework.
As Natalie Babitt once wrote: “for some, time moves slowly. An hour can seem an eternity. For others, there is never enough.”
Each day that passes, every rotation that the Wheel makes, the crocodile gets a little closer. Seconds slip away, months turn into years, and still we futilely try to escape from time.
So caught up in fearing death that we don’t take time live.
Forever running, never pausing to realise the good. The world spins around us and we are all but oblivious to its wonders.
We are the ‘Captain Hook’ of this story. When will we accept that the clock is counting down, our days will not last forever, that our time limited, instead of trying to delusion ourselves with immortality?
The crocodile is and always will be chasing after us. But no matter how short or long, life’s got to be lived. “Don’t be afraid of death, be afraid of the unlived life. You don’t have to live forever. You just have to live.”
Time will catch up to us all, even to the most super of men. Because in the end, it was the ticking crocodile that swallowed Captain Hook.
The river is still rushing, the crocodile cannot be tamed, and the wheel is turning. But we can still dent it. Leave a mark on the wheel, leave a mark on the world. So when the crocodile does catch up to us, we will greet him as an old friend, knowing that while our time may be up, it was time well spent.