I gaze upon my children and wonder. Of all the moments we spend together, of all the words I speak, which ones will lock in their memory? 30 years from now when they gaze back to these days, what will they recall…
Clocks. Lots of clocks. Grandfather chimes, cuckoos popping out of hiding, little German children turning round, all marking the turn of time. It was on the brink of magical all those clocks that lived in my grandparent’s home.
Like the rhythmic ticking of the clocks, my early childhood was safe and predictable. Pollyanna-ish, I suppose you could say, in the eyes of my childishnaiveté. I was blessed to have many places of sanctuary where I was safe from the “world out there.” One such place was the home of my Pop Pop and Tu Tu. They lived in several throughout the years. Many a day and night I spent in them all. Family gatherings, sleep-overs, and the clocks, always the clocks, with their gentle ticking, a dependable backdrop for it all.
You have to wind the clocks, you know. It’s quite a chore, which I now know from trying to keep up with just the single antique mantle clock resting in my living room. Quite a labor of love it must have been to keep up with the many they had in their home. One day, though, the clocks stopped ticking. A marriage that had been the foundation of my childhood was no more. I remember clearly the day my parents told me that my grandparents were getting a divorce. A what? That was something that happened to other people, certainly not my Pop Pop and Tu Tu. And so, the magical clocks stopped ticking for me…or did they?
It’s true that we can never go back to the ways things used to be. But I’ve learned that the past can either remain a gentle friend or an ugly enemy. I think it’s up to us to choose. And so I choose the magical clocks, like an old familiar friend to greet me when I enter a quiet room. A soothing rhythm to remind me that we are not the ones who wind them after all. For if we were, they would all eventually go silent. But as long as our own hearts beat inside…there is still time. Time to give thanks in all circumstances. Time to forgive. Time to heal. Time to give it over to the only One who can take it anyway.
The Father of Time and the Keeper of Memories can restore it all, if only we let Him…in His time.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. – Ecclesiastes 3