Long time ago, we had a cuckoo clock in our living room, ticking away for several years. It continued to hang on the wall after retiring from the world of timekeeping.
This cuckoo clock was bought by my father while he was abroad. I don’t remember which country he bought it in; he was away from home a lot. The cuckoo clock was not very punctual, it would slow down a few minutes after a few hours. But back in an era where people didn’t rush about, a few minutes didn’t matter much. People had more tolerance for errors.
The cuckoo clock hung high on the wall, and the pendulums were taller than me. I needed a stool to touch the clock hands and to look closely at the clock face. The clock shaped like a country house, and the pendulums looked like pine cones. What I liked the most was the little bird that came out of the window every half hour.
In order to see the bird chirping on the hours, I often turned the clock hands to point at the hour, regardless of what time it really was. My father never stopped me from doing that; he just laughed. In fact, this cuckoo clock wasn’t there for timekeeping’s sake. It was my favorite toy.
The bellows inside the clock gradually wore down, and the bird sang softer and softer. Eventually, the bird became silent, although it kept sticking out its little head out every half hour.
Today, the cuckoo clock and that little bird are still alive in my heart, but the hands on the clock face have disappeared. What was hidden inside the clock was a joy independent of time.