The clock in this photo is older than me and, other than regular battery changes, it has never required any servicing. Its movement is silent and smooth. There is no tick, no shake, no wobble. No sound to give away its presence. Yet, its mighty role is to be ever present in giving us time.
As a kid, I would imagine that the brown chunky blocks on either side were made of chocolate, just like the Cadbury milk chocolate squares we would get as a treat. This clock is part of the family, and although I never really knew either of my grandfathers, it only recently occurred to me how time is the precious gift that a grandfather can give to his grandchildren. I see my own father giving that attention to my niece, and their bond is stronger than a mother’s.
We use metronomes to measure time by its beat, which is a useful tool for creative purposes. But this is just a man-made concept for us to make the most of time. Time’s forgotten significance is that it flows silently and gently. We all know time moves in a cycle, we see it in biology, in nature, even in history. Recently, scientists have noticed that the Earth’s rotation around its axis is speeding up. In the past, scientists have been adding leap seconds to the atomic clock because the spin of the Earth was taking longer to complete a 24-hour day. Now they are faced with removing leap seconds because of a reverse in trend! The measure of a ‘natural second’ has no limit and would best be described as one complete cycle.
We can observe a natural cycle clearly in the cycle of water. It’s journey from precipitation to meeting the ocean again, is a complete cycle, from beginning to end. Without the flow of rivers there would be no freshwater lakes and deltas. The journey in the middle is called life because no matter how long it takes to reach its home again, it will constantly give nourishment, power and joy along the way. Even if it is brown and grey before it reaches the ocean, it will still flow because the ocean accepts all water.
In a practical way, our lives can be viewed in similar fashion. We should all take a drop from the unlimited ocean and accept all results (forgetfulness, mistakes, failures, as well as successes) as one flow from the beginning to the end of our learning journey. After all, life is a journey of learning about who we are and how we can best express ourselves through deeds that will last for generations to come.
If the aim of your life is to benefit everyone in your connection, then your life is bound to be fulfilling and successful, even if it does take time. To have a pure aim and to move silently in accordance with it, surely must be our purpose in life, as it is for all nature.
The ocean never asked to be celebrated and desirable, but water is what we look for when we search for life beyond our world. Naturally, we know the essence of the ocean is life because this is its pure purpose. Ask yourself this: What essence will my life be remembered for, when I shuffle off this mortal coil?
When I see my father and niece together, I can see the seed of joy being planted in her little heart. A life’s value can be viewed in just one second of silent observation. Everything else is forgotten, and only the jewel is left behind.
Patience is the key to a purposeful life, and forgiveness is the seed of patience. To forgive means to give a second of your attention to the greatest cycle that is at play, and then to see the valuable jewel within, that will last for all time.
The Earth is speeding up, so we can slow down. Continue to see the point of everything within one silent movement and keep forgiving.