Heavy rain in the forecast for Boston today. As I sit here writing in the predawn light I see the trees out front swaying in the wind.
Water in a stream or lake or ocean. Every molecule attached to others so its as if the body of water were a massive molecule with its own properties and behaviors.
One behavior of water in rivers is mass flow, where in a sense the whole body of water is moving as one. Mass flow is also a phenomenon in plants also, where a column of water under great pressure is loosely attached to vessel walls and the molecules behave as one, gliding up the walls of the xylem cells.
If you have ever seen the tide go out you have observed mass flow in all its drama. Likewise the onslaught and retreat of waves along a beach.
In meditation I have visualized that mass of water flowing back into the ocean, carrying with it pebbles, bits of wood, and turning larger stones over and over as they move with the strength of the water. That water is like the flow of time.
Mass flow to the tips of plants, mass flow in a stream, mass flow of the tide. All of these are markers of, and evidence for temporal passage, the movement of time.
In fifty years my children will be well into their seventies, their children well into adulthood, their grandchildren flowing forward with the "tide" of time unaware of my years floating and flowing. This is natural. My great grandparents are unknown and unimaginable to me, who barely knew his grandparents lives.
Somehow these thoughts caused no anxiety when they came to me in the middle of the night. More of a waking dream, a meditation, a warm blanket of reality.