When the Egyptians invented the sun-dial, little did they know the impact it would have on a 20-something-year-old, four thousand years and five thousand kilometers away. Now as the sun arches across the sky, casting haphazard shadows on the landscape, I secretly curse those ancient pharaohs slumbering cozily in their gigantic tombs. Not only did they substitute a way cooler method of telling time (sky-gazing), they also made us realize that it a fast fading commodity.
Anyway, I always liked the Neolithic gene in us and somehow managed to hung on to it. In the age of the Hubble or titanic radio telescopes, I was more into fossilized technology. I simply liked to look up at the stars and tell the constellations or look at the westward horizon at the setting sun and a glimmering Venus. And for years, I thought I was only one, until one evening.
The sun was breaking among the clouds, casting a glorious silhouette of the distant mountains. We sipped tea together and talked about everything under that huge bulb of gas burning infinitely in space. We had created a language of our own, undecipherable to the world, but perfect for us. Those endless cups of tea were an apt accomplice as we gazed at the setting sun. We stared at it like hypnotized puppies, or strained our necks trying to find the North Pole. We drew animals on clouds or splashed water as we dashed towards class. The sunset was not the end of our day. It was perhaps the only time we realized how we had spent it, or what lay ahead. A milestone on our daily road, reminding us of the hours gone by or what was up the road. And this routine carried on, almost each and every day.
I am now in my final two months on this hill, and never have I felt so distant from the world and closer to the one I created here, inhabiting it with friends, love, dreams, hope and faith. Time is running out and every sip of tea reminds me of it. Every sunset fills me up with joy and that warm fuzzy feeling, and each dusk reminds me that like the sun, we too will disappear from sight someday.
If only humans didn’t know how to tell time, we could perhaps never know deadlines, closures or goodbyes. Nothing would perhaps make sense, but then what does anyway? Damn you, Egyptians.