A couple weeks ago, while I was romping on my neighbor’s dock with Devin’s puppy, my watch fell into the water. I almost never take it off during the day, but I did. It went into the drink.
So I’ve been timeless for over two weeks. I know, the world is filled with timepieces wherever you go, wherever you look. As I sit here I know its 12:51 PM, Sat Jul 6. It’s right there on the computer screen. The time shows on clocks we have in almost every room in the house. The time is constantly displayed on the phone I carry. When I am driving, the time is right there, brightly lit above the radio. There is a clock next to the bed, which I can see even with my glasses off in the middle of the night. So it’s not like I don’t have access to the time.
But it’s not on my wrist. I was just going to go out and get another cheap but dependable TIMEX EXPEDITION, my watch of choice for the last 25 years. But Devin said that he could get me a deal on line. So, no watch on my wrist.
I have 4 big clocks in my classroom. The better to teach time… “Mr. O, what time is it?”
“Look at the clock…”
“How much time until lunch?”
“Look at the clock…”
“How long until we pack up?
“Well, what time is it now…”
But it’s summertime. We don’t have to set the alarm. We don’t really have shows to watch on TV. A lot of days we have nothing to do but schoolwork and working around the house. We take walks. Go for a swim. Run errands. There is nothing to tie me to the clock. These last couple weeks without a wristwatch, have been kind of liberating. I find myself looking at my hairy watchless wrist often. But less and less as the days go by. And while I used to check the time out of habit real often, my rhythms have gone to a more natural time. I get up when the sun wakes me. Go to sleep when it’s dark and I’m tired. Feed the dogs when the dogs are hungry.
I’ll get a watch by the end of the summer probably. I’ll set the alarm for 5 AM on school days. I’ll get back in the work-a-day routine soon. And that will be good too. I miss my children and their parents. I like a schedule I can depend on. My students do too. But I’ve enjoyed getting up as the world turns into the light of the sun and mockingbirds sing their varied songs and the blue jays cry out impatiently – they always seem impatient. I’ve enjoyed taking an evening walk to the fireflies at the edge of the woods and listening to the mourning doves sing their farewells to the day. It makes me look forward to the time – years away – when we retire in these woods and live so much more by our biological clocks.
“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”