Did you ever love an inanimate object so much that it may as well be human? A stuffed animal when you were a child, perhaps? A favorite blanket? Well, that’s how I felt about the grandfather clock that was in my grandparents’ house. My grandparents lived on a huge piece of property in Maine in a log cabin that my grandfather had built with his own two hands. It’s safe to say that it was my favorite place in the whole world as a child and I still have the fondest of memories of the summers I spent there, barefoot among the blueberries.
But for anyone who has spent any significant time in Maine they can attest to the fact that it is dark at night. Not just ordinary dark. Dark, dark. Black dark. The kind of dark that feels like a blanket and almost convinces you that you have gone blind sometime in the middle of the night. As a child, I was terrified of the dark, and as I usually slept in the foldout couch in my grandparents’ living room, I was not lacking for darkness. And so, my grandparents would leave the light on in the grandfather clock; that is to say, the light inside the hood of the clock that would illuminate its face and punctuate its artwork with an otherworldly glow.
Needless to say that this grandfather clock and I became very good friends. I would talk to him at night and he would stare at me unblinking before playing me a gentle tune at the top of the hour. That grandfather clock always felt like my own personal sentry that was standing guard over me through the night. I just loved it so.
Unfortunately, in the later years, after my grandparents’ death the clock was sold in an estate sale. I was too young at the time to take ownership of it and it broke my heart. And so I did the next best thing by making a grandfather clock – of very similar design – my very first purchase when I bought my first home. After all, it would not have been the same without it.