Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tick Tock

Lou Ann bought me an antique Elgin pocket watch one recent Christmas. Sometimes I carry it with me; at other times I set it on my living room end table. Lachlan likes to pick it up even though he knows he's not supposed to. This morning he brought it to me and I remembered the now almost-forgotten sound of a ticking watch. I held the watch up to Lachlan's ear. At first he listened with a curious look on his face, and then broke into a wide grin. Over and over he wanted to hear the distinctive tick-tock, tick-tock.

This little incident reminded me of simple pleasures that we sometimes ignore. Listening to the tick of a mechanical clock could be a metaphor for life on Ocracoke Island, one place where life moves at a different pace. We enjoy many of the 21st century's modern conveniences, of course, but we also are close to life's simpler themes -- running barefoot on the beach, moonlight strolls under ancient live oaks, visiting family graves just across the sandy lane, community pot luck dinners, gathering eggs from the chicken pound, just to name a few.

It's probably a good idea for all of us to "listen to a ticking clock" now and then.

You can read our latest newsletter here. It's about Ocracoke Islanders and "tokens of death."

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