There is a clock sitting on the shelf near our bed. It belonged to my mom’s dad and was passed on to me, making it my grandfather’s clock. Over a hundred years old, this timepiece is relatively small, meant to be set on a fireplace mantle, but it has a surprisingly vibrant chime. There are no batteries within, its mechanism driven by a coiled brass spring, which I wind weekly with a dozen turns of a key. For this effort, I am rewarded with a melodious chime counting out each and every hour.
I take comfort from these chimes, from the tick-tock of the ever swinging pendulum, an aroused awareness that time is now. I wonder if my grandfather, my mother, other family members, felt a similar connection.
I’ve lived more than 600,000 hours so far, a surprising number when I attempt to remember the breadth of my life experience. what happened to all those hours? The more important question, what will I do with the hours I have left?
Each tick of that clock is a moment I will never have again.
How many more chimes are left in my life?
How blessed I am to have had so many hours of being.
As my wife sleeps peacefully beside me, I again find comfort in the tick-tock of time, past, present, and future, and I drift away in hopes of hearing the morning chimes once more.
There’s an old folk song that beautifully expresses my sentiments, perfectly named, “My Grandfather’s Clock.” Here’s a link to a Johnny cash rendition
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