On the third evening of our desert escape, Toby and I decided to tuck away to secluded setting of the Tuscany restaurant in Phoenix. Sitting outside in a 106 degree oven we tried to convince ourselves that this was the good life. All around us the desert was bursting with hearty, determined blooms, and the occasional, sun-weary critter would skitter by with what I imagined were exhales of exhausted disgust.
As we sat in the stillness of the heat, the earth seemed to slow its spin. Quiet permeated the night, moving through my sweat-drenched linen shirt and seeping deep into my veins.
As my eyes slowly surveyed the landscaped, they stopped to rest on a clock.
Something about it spoke to me, but in the sludge of my heat-weary mind, I couldn’t quickly put my finger on it.
As I continued to stare at it, it hit me. There was no second hand. There was no minute hand. Only one lone hour hand stood guard of time.
Instantly, the world stood still and I fell in love with this clock. Unable to break time into minutia segments, everything seemed to slow. No longer could I feel the sense of rushing. No longer did I feel the hurried thumping in my pulse. All my constant stress and watch-tapping were replaced with a sudden calm and sense of quiet.
Basking in the stillness, we sat there for what felt like an eternity, eating our meal and watching the slow breathing of the desert, overwhelmed by a sense of peace and relief. Perhaps it was simply the feeling of years of stress slipping off our backs. Perhaps it was the ridiculous heat that stole away every ounce of our energy. Perhaps it was watching that amazing clock.
Finally, as darkness overtook the view and hints of an electrical storm wove its way through the sky toward us, we decided it might be time to head back to our hotel room.
I turned to the clock to check the hour, when the timepiece gave me one more gift.
It was broken.
I loved it even more.