In my garage is a cardboard box filled with the shattered remains of what was once a most wonderful clock. For as long as I can remember, my Grandparents owned a Black Forest hunter clock. I was mesmerized by that clock when I was a kid. Maybe I had a huge imagination, but it was fun to think of the little dancing people and the cuckoo bird as actual living creatures inside this fantastic clock. I can remember waiting and waiting for the hour or half-hour to strike so that I could see them come to life.
Each day, my Grandpa would wind the clock by pulling the weight-chain down and gently giving the pendulum a swing. When I was small, he would sometimes hold me up to the clock and let me help.
I was given that clock the day my Grandpa died.
And, for several years the clock ticked away in our family room. It became more than a clock, but rather, a small time machine. My children would wait and watch for the dancing people and the silly old bird to appear. I would give them turns helping me wind the clock. And, I found myself waiting sometimes for the characters to appear once again, on the hour, and for a moment, I was taken back in time.
One morning while preparing for work, I stopped to wind the clock. My left hand braced the clock against the wall while I pulled the weight-chain with my right. My left hand slipped as I pulled the chain. The clock slammed to the ground. Pieces were scattered. The stag was busted from the top and his antlers snapped. The clock hands broke from the face. The beautiful leaf trim splintered and the dancers and their stage were utterly destroyed.
All the pieces were gathered and put into a box. I know that it cannot be fixed. But, I hold onto the pieces. I hold tight, the memories.