Telling Time.

I have half an hour before the chicken needs carving, in which to contemplate time.

I understand that there is clock time and internal time. The clocks stuck on church towers and round our wrists were made imperative by the invention of trains and the necessity of time being the same everywhere and tracks being cleared and so we slice up our life into internationally recognisable fragments, so that now the planes can fly and the computers can whir. The time in our heads works on a more complex level, where the present is composed of memory and potential future and moves to the rhythm of the thinker.

And then there is seasonal time: never the same, always the same, always the future.
The year progresses at its own pace, different in each village, different in each shadow that cools the flower or delays the germinating seed. You need to know a place well to compare the seasons. This year the celandines were late, but the ravens bred early. This year swifts were late, but the cuckoos(who had been absent for two years ) returned and called over and over from the hedgerow.

This morning we watched the young ravens,already fledged and learning to fly, tumbling over the cool, tall pilling clouds. White throats are singing their territories, storks are walking on improbably long legs through the buttercups, spearing slugs to feed their nestlings. The house martins have just arrived.

Ahh ! I can smell that the chicken is cooked!



10 thoughts on “Telling Time.

  1. Flighty says:

    Interesting post and subject. Being retired most of my time is no longer set by working hours and so on. I also find that internal time isn’t consistent and seems to vary considerably. xx


  2. Frogend_dweller says:

    I am currently stuck in the world of other people’s timescales, for build work and refurbishing. I will be glad to get back to being able to ignore clock time occasionally! Meanwhile I have a whole load of pricking out to do. Nice tree photo. Have you read Ivan Hicks Tricks with Trees?


  3. Jet Eliot says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this understanding and expression of time, Cathy, and the machinations of your current spring. It is a pleasure to read your writing. I watch ravens a lot and they really do tumble….


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