When I was a little girl, in summer camp, there was a game we play called, “The Wonder Ball.” I really enjoyed this game.
We would stand in a circle, and pass a large ball to the next person while singing this song:
“The wonder ball, goes round and round,
to pass it quickly you are bound.
If you’re the one to hold it last,
the game for you is Shirley Past.
You Are Out!”
And the person left holding the ball on the word ‘Out’ was out of the game.
I often wondered who Shirley Past was, and what exactly she had to do with the game. I certainly didn’t want to be in her time.
I’m not exactly certain when I realized that the words in the rhyme were not ‘Shirley Past,’ but rather ‘surely past.’
A lot of things are surely past for many of us at this point. I’m certain we can all think of possibilities that are no longer possible for us. They have gone into oblivion along with good ole Shirley Past.
And we can all think of things that will Shirley Arrive–one of them at least being death.
But what about That which is not past, and which is not yet to arrive, and which in fact, is not subject to time in anyway whatsoever, and which has always been here, throughout childhood, adulthood and old age in exactly the same way? Maybe we could call that Shirley Now.
Now, now, now. Your being which is always now. always here. Shirley Past cannot touch that, nor can Shirley Arrive.
Shirley Now is the gal to know. Knowing her you are free. Still the game continues. You are out and you are in. In or out you are free.