Time has always been a slippery and demanding mistress for me.
I retired from teaching in the spring and despite the fact that my alarm clock is not really needed anymore, it remained by my bedside, its glowing blue light a beacon in my bedroom, one to which I would always turn whenever I woke in the night. The idea was to see how many hours I might yet have to sleep before the horrible clatter that announced it was time to throw my comfy covers back and greet the day.
The thing is, I don’t have to get up at any specific time anymore. In fact, there’s little outside of the odd appointment that requires me to ever check the time. Even television no longer asks me to tune in at a particular hour. I stream what I want when I want.
How life has changed. My previous responsibilities—TV news reporting, teaching, and sports officiating— ran on inflexible schedules. I was either on the news set when the red camera light went on or I was not. I was at the front of my classroom when the bell rang or I was not. I blew my whistle to put the football in play to start the game on time or I did not.
My life has been so caught up in time that when I have nightmares, there’s no boogieman under the bed or monster chasing me through dark woods. Nope, there’s a clock. The horror for me in dreamland is having to get somewhere quickly. It might be a news set or a classroom or a ballgame or an airport. Despite the scenario, the idea is the same. I’m always on the verge of being late and horrified at the prospect.
I noticed recently that there isn’t a room in my home without a clock. There’s even one in the laundry room. But since retiring from teaching and football, and the effects of the pandemic that have me mostly at home, my clocks are slowly losing their grip on me.
And yet, my late dreams continue.
“It’s doesn’t matter when you get up,” my sweetie pie pointed out when I told him my old alarm clock had died. But letting go is difficult. It’s almost as if time has trained me, given me muscle memory that has me constantly looking at clocks.
The other day, I focused on the blank face of my alarm clock, wondering if all it needed was a battery or a charge. Its blank eye stared back accusingly, as I placed it in a bottom drawer under my socks.
I still have to think about its fate.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
A WOMAN FLEES AN ABUSIVE HUSBAND
AND FINDS HOPE IN THE WILDS OF THE ARIZONA DESERT.
Published by Liaison – A Next Chapter Imprint
Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.
Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.
Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?
Order your copy here: http://mybook.to/wildhorsespb