If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With 60 seconds of distance run,
Yours’ is the world and everything that’s in it
Rudyard Kipling

Sometime back I promised a friend that I’d write them something. A promise I kept, only barely, as I claimed to have experienced a writer’s block. That was true enough at the time. I have since dusted off my writer’s pen and in time penned another attempt. It isn’t on time and I daresay I haven’t been very good at keeping time, but I hope this time they’ll be pleased I got it right. Have you noticed how many times I have used the word time? It’s about time I get one with this time….

It isn’t until sleep abandons us late in the night and blatantly refuses to be coaxed back into bed, that we begin to put how many minutes there are to an hour, or, when trying to beat a deadline, that we realize how few they are and wonder where the time went.

It is probably the phrase ‘Sands of Time’ that first put the idea to my head that time might be a lady. This phrase brings to mind the image of the sand moving effortlessly in the wind as if in exotic dance, the very way a lady garbed in a swirling gown would move in tune to some exotic music. This theory, helped along by the feminine hour glass’ figure and the deduction that; since luck is a lady (lady luck), it stands to reason that time too must be one.

There are times I often wondered what ‘she’ was up to – never stopping, sometimes rushing, often silly (allowing herself to be strapped to a bomb. Really! ) and somehow indifferent to the chaos she creates.

Like everyone else, I have had my moments with her and since she is stuck to a wall in my house, ( or more accurately, is to be found in several places in my house and goes everywhere I go attached to the wrist of my hand ), she is only too familiar with me and my ways.

I often go to bed (not to sleep)at a ‘reasonable’ hour (there’s the matter of coaxing sleep to come to bed with me or more correctly ,trying to get her close enough to grab and hold on to firmly until morning). I sleep through the night to rise again at my other ‘reasonable’ hour and only then, after my clock ( or Lady Time, if you prefer), on finding me still asleep, loudly voices her disapproval by chiming and pointing accusingly at the hour all the while, staring on defiantly as if daring me to deny the time.

To be fair, she hasn’t been all bad. There are times she’s found me at my reading table in the wee hours and even managed a hint of a smile (at my hitherto unknown industrious side) as she discreetly chimed the hour and continued her rounds about the clock.

The other hour, having completed a full circle, she positively beamed and even managed to sneak a little joy in the chime. Was it me or did I just hear a jubilant chime? At this point I decide it’s time for bed. What with my clock in jubilation? I must be tired!

She isn’t without mischief. On the next round on discovering I’m tucked in bed, she enlists the help of ‘several things’ to wake me. I wake up to the loud chiming of the grandfather clock down the hall, a cock crowing, the howling of the neighbours’ dog and the incessant ringing of my bedside clock all at once. My distorted senses can only marvel at how she executed that coup!

I have a report to hand in later that day and it’s a couple of hours to my ‘reasonable hour’. As it happens, I sleep past ‘my hour’ and the lady is only too happy to torment me with endless chimes.

As I prepare for work, the minutes sneak past. Is that the time? Or is she mocking me? She’s up to her games…The computer isn’t saving fast enough, neither is the printer printing fast enough, the coffee machine is taking forever. Another click on the mouse and the machine hangs as if to say, “Let me think about it”. The deadline is inching closer. I am markedly antagonized. A quick glance at the clock gives me a queasy feeling that ‘she’s’ relishing my discomfort. I can imagine her now…all dressed up, daintily lifting her skirts with the tips of her fingers in the merest suggestion of a hurry…

Nothing can seem to go fast enough. I am running out of time. I can see her now….Snatching up her skirts and setting off at a full run. I’m racing against time. However will I beat her? The silly woman! Why can’t she be fair?

I hand in the report, in time-just as the clock on the nearby clock strikes the hour. Breathless, I grin broadly, gloatingly at the clock. Today I win. This leg of the race is mine.

An old song goes…Who can say where the road goes? Where the day flows? …Only Time…
I cannot help but think…’Time always tells’…it is my fervent hope that one day, hopefully soon…‘Time too will be told’.

….Today well lived makes
Every tomorrow a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope…
You’re writing the story of your life
One day at a time…

© angela ndegi