19. The broken clock

For the broken clock that keeps its own time. On our arrival it heralds the dawn, too late, too slow, like a robin with a hangover. At lunchtime it still languishes in early morning — or has it raced ahead to quitting time? When we would gauge the progress of the afternoon, it appears to have stopped, its second hand quivering just south of four. Freed again it passes us in our late-day torpor, and when at last we are done with our work, it has moved on to evening. Is it fast or slow, or merely unconcerned? Here where the sun is not permitted to shine, none of us can be sure. We each must keep our own time.

15. Young streams

For streams in a hurry to get to the river on the first day of spring. Swollen from the lackadaisical trickles of summer, awakened from the chilly slumber of winter, reborn from the endless rains of March, they rush along muddy slopes and cascade gleefully over ridges, leaping rocks, bubbling, laughing, gleeful, silly. In an awful hurry. To get to the river — and then what? To join the river’s double-time march to the sea? To roll down the slow-eroding plains to the sea, to be dismembered and disappear into the great waters of the earth? Slow down, just a little, maybe. Life is shorter than you think.