Some days, I see time as a great stretch of fabric with the stars all speckled over it and the planets scattered across it. They are plump with the seas and volcanoes and all of the people, who are stitched together by hope and gravity.
There is an old woman who darns time whenever it frays. She takes her needle and thread and makes it neat again. That’s where the saying “a stitch in time saves nine” comes from, because if she happens to miss the chance to fix it straight away, it has this awful habit of unraveling rather quickly.
A lot of things cause time to fray. Not paying attention to beautiful things is one of them. So if you’re watching a glorious sunset and thinking about porridge, or worse, stocks and shares, time might start to get raggedy. Anything dramatic makes it a little wild as well. In those moments when the world breaks your heart, if you were to just happen to look at the right second, you’d see her diligently fixing a small tear in the sky or precisely cross stitching a cherry blossom which was beginning to lose its shape.
Sometimes she’s at your shoulder, fixing a little part of you that’s beginning to lose its thread, pins in her mouth even though it’s dangerous, so she can get the hem of your existence just right.
She is always patching this, or noticing that, and occasionally if her hands are weary, working the pedal on her old sewing machine to pick and redo the stitching of one of the lesser moons, for practice.
The silver of the needle. The thimble. The neat reels of cotton. All of these tiny things making something so much greater than themselves. Like we do as well.
Life is so fragile, and so is time. It is only kept together by her determination and the thin thread she holds safe in her hands. By luck, too.
And maybe it’s a strange idea, but I can see her so clearly, and I can hear how she lullabies into the stillness while we continue and we try to find whatever magic we can.