I used to wear a watch, I did so for years and years. I had a few different ones, but my favourite was a gold and Swarovski crystal one that my dad bought for me when we went to Switzerland as part of an almost month-long European vacation. What a special time that was! Both my parents and I reflect often and fondly on our memories from that summer which is nearly fourteen years ago now. To have seen my dad visit his family’s roots in Scotland and to have visited longtime friends in England, to have stood on the Eiffel Tower, to have ridden on the Eurostar and driven through the Swiss Alps and to have stood in the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum with two individuals whose parents were immigrants turned farmers with meek beginnings was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience. One I will not soon forget, but I cannot help but wonder where the time has gone between then and now. Truthfully, I am not entirely sure, but when I see my reflection in the mirror, I see evidence of the decade and a half which has passed. I am now a middle-aged woman, no doubt about it and my parents have aged too. They are no longer able to travel. I’m glad that we took our vacation when we did.
At some point, a couple of years after our trip, I stopped wearing my Swiss watch not because I loved it any less, but because I was tired of always looking at it and letting it seemingly dictate my every movement day and night. So much of our lives revolve around the clock as it is–I didn’t need a constant visual of what minute and hour it was to remind me what I should or shouldn’t be doing at any given moment. Of course, nowadays, we have our phones to do that for us, which is even worse in some ways since we spend a good chunk of our days glued to them. Sure enough, as soon as I put my watch to rest I felt a sense of freedom that I never even fully expected, much like the times when I cut my hair really short and sported a bikini for the first time. Could that freedom have been a purely psychological manifestation created by my inner expectation to not feel so controlled? I would guess that that was certainly part of it. Was I able to escape the constraints of time altogether? No, of course not, but I felt that it removed a blanket that I didn’t even realize was covering me, so to speak.
So, where is my Bucherer watch now? Don’t worry, it’s safely tucked away with many other keepsakes that I treasure. It will always serve as a memory of that unforgettable summer spent overseas with my parents laughing, discovering, eating, drinking and exploring together. In hindsight, each link on my beloved Swiss band can be likened to a time and a place wherein all things were well and time itself appeared to stand still for once; of that, I will be forever grateful!