Hands of Time
My favorite clock was a gift—handmade by my grandpa. He made it in 1984 in what was his 84th year. The old-fashioned, battery operated clock had faithfully kept time through my two children’s busy lives, and into the quieter years since they moved away. I always had it hanging next to the front door—because its large hands were a clear reminder of the time as I grabbed all I needed on the way out.
Recently its hands froze in place—a signal to change the batteries. As I took it from the wall to perform this task I looked at my grandpa’s trademark signature and the hand-scribbled 1984 on the backside. I smiled as I thought of him in his woodshop. He always had a dozen clocks ready to give away—an old farmer who knew the importance of time.
I put new batteries in but the second hand didn’t move. Several other batteries were tried before I finally accepted the clock no longer worked. Out of respect, I hung it back in its proper place. I set the hands at 6:00—frozen in time.
Later that evening I noticed something interesting. The clock showed 6:03. The following day it was 6:16. I’ve still not seen the second hand move—but it does—as do the hands—just not when I'm watching. Isn’t life like that? Time passes by without us knowing. How often had I rushed out the door, glancing at those hands, not really thinking that every minute counted? How often had I said, “where does the time go?”.
As I thought about Grandpa, he never rushed, or set his clocks for any other time than what it really was. Indeed, he spent his time just like he should--saving it, spending it but never wasting it. I thought about fixing Grandpa's clock, but for now I think I’ll keep it just like it is. It’s my new “Mom” time—a clock that goes slow enough to remind me that every moment is precious.