Philosophy, retrospect: the end of wonder

Self-tutoring about people, events, and ideas of the past: the tutor reflects…

On a beautiful summer day such as today has been, I often spin back into the past: how did I spend such days when I was a kid?

In PEI and the Annapolis Valley, there were many days like this. Usually I was with friends, but many times I was alone, exploring.

There came a time when a summer day no longer held the wonder and promise it had before; this evening I may’ve realized what made the difference.

In the summer between grades 2 and 3, every day was new, separate from the past and future; I can’t recall having the perspective, then, that one summer day fit among the others in an array. Until the end, the days of summer were uncountable. Then, we were buying school supplies, it was Labour Day Weekend, and summer was over. It was like a sudden death.

I don’t recall much about the summer that followed. However, the one after that, I was aware of its duration as it started. I recall looking at the calendar and at my baseball schedule, which ended around July 10th. I was aware, throughout the summer, how much of it was gone and how much remained.

Somehow, it seems, because of that perspective, a summer day lost its boundless potential. It’s as if each had been possibly infinite two years earlier, but now, being of known duration because it fit in a longer time span shared by others, its potential was inevitably finite.

I often reflect on the fact that my belief in a wider world was robust when I was 7 years old, but much less when I was 9. I think it was my growing awareness of time that diminished the possibilities. It’s a melancholy realization.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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