Lent and my grandfather’s clock

Linda’s Lines

Usually it was Sarah who serenaded us but I recall when her big sister, Elizabeth, regaled us with odd and sundry versions of “My Grandfather’s Clock.” There was nothing wrong with the song and I remember belting it out while I was in school choir. On occasion, I still find myself humming its rhythmic melody. There was nothing wrong with having Elizabeth sing it, but the constant repetition drove me crazy. Whether playing Yahtzee, riding with us in the car or while we walked, she sang it … ad nauseum.

Nor was there a problem hearing Henry Clay Work’s composition sung occasionally. In fact, I really enjoyed the piece. More than a dozen renditions at a time, however, got a mite irritating. In this case the tick-tocks got louder in direct proportion to my waning endurance level. “Sing, Elizabeth,” we’d admonish (gently, of course), “but why not sing something else or somewhere else.” Sigh, if only she’d had learned the beauty of moderation.

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I need to learn that, too … and that brings me to Lent. The Protestant denomination in which I was raised rarely mentioned the season of Lent, let alone observed it, but now that we’re part of a wonderful church fellowship that observes this season, I realize that I missed something very special. Apart from any religious overtones, taking dedicated time from the hectic lifestyle I’ve always managed to pursue would have been good for me and for those around me. Balancing the tick-tocks of life, like those of Grandfather’s Clock, would have kept things (me, specifically) on a far more even keel. To know that moderation is good is one thing; to practice it, another.

Read Proverbs 23 for King Solomon’s warning about all kinds of excesses.

By the way, now that Elizabeth’s moved so far away, I’d give lots to hear her sing again.

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