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Community Exchange member Maria Villacreses, escorted by her mother Ximena Roman, used time credits toward her wedding day for makeup, food & decoration services. The 28-year-old, who is fluent in English and Spanish and earns time credits as a trained medical interpreter and by offering rides and pet-sitting, thought she would have to scale back when her fiance's hours at work were cut in half. Then fellow Community Exchange members suggested she use time credits to pay for services that would typically cost hundreds of dollars. On the big day, the bride sat at her dining room table while a complete stranger, Marilyn, did her makeup. As she applied foundation and eyeliner, another member delivered the cake she baked for time credits. Others brought food, baked goods, pastries and decorated the sanctuary and reception hall. During the service, time bankers took photos and played the organ. In all, the wedding cost about 200 of her time credits. By spending her time wisely, Villacreses figures she saved about $2,000.* Another member donated 500 time credits so she wouldn't have to worry about the wedding. Maria also donated hours back to the generous members who helped make her day so special. - Community Exchange, Pennsylvania *excerpt from Associated Press story in 2010, by Michael Rubinkam (AP photo) . #timebankingis #community #50storiesin50days #timebanks #story #timeasmoney #timecredits

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Reflection by Edgar Cahn

In a wedding such as this, Time stands still and is simultaneously extended: “till death do we part.” The words “I do” are both a ritual and a commitment, an affirmation of the moment infused with meaning, unique in time.  And a commitment to an enduring relationship of interdependence that will have a life of its own, continuous, oscillating, highly mutable and yet immutable.

We vest two people with an awesome power by mutual consent to transform space and time.  It seems particularly fitting that timebanking played such a central role on this occasion, providing all the logistical elements of before, during, and after the event.  Some of the time credits spent in conducting the wedding had been earned by the bride as a medical interpreter who also provided rides and pet-sitting.  Other time credits were donated, to be paid back to those timebank members who did the make up and mascara for the bride, baked and delivered the wedding cake, decorated the sanctuary, played the organ, and captured the event in photographs.

I find myself wondering what Einstein would have said about the configuration of space-time in this happening.  Time certainly was not linear: a-to-b.  It was constantly variable.  But it certainly was not random.  This was a wedding, consecrated by timebanking.  And that is fitting.

We are still trying to understand whatever orders the universe.  But we know what ordered this segment in time: it was purpose.  And that is our supreme power: to adapt purpose to reshape the space-time continuum.

Timebanking captures and confirms the power that each of us has to alter the space-time continuum by infusing it with meaning.  In a way, it configures our lives as a different kind of union  – a bonding process that asserts, confirms, and re-establishes that we are all family, the human family.

Each hour, timebanking can create both ceremony and ritual, affirmation and confirmation of that union.  It is embedded in our DNA, celebrated in each act and realized by how we use whatever time we are allotted to affirm that we are wed to the larger human condition and the journey of our species.