A Patio Rocking Chair Memory of Prague

Prague Astronomical Clock Tower Prague Astronomical Clock Tower

We had a fun-filled honeymoon. So fun-filled that Prague felt like ages ago. Prague seemed like a dream and even my copious amount of notes failed to jog my memory; which led me to a new note-taking strategy: label certain events with, “you will be so excited about this moment, you will probably not remember it.”

And then, like a glimpse in my mind, I remembered standing in the square, staring at the tower of the Old Town Hall. It was 92 degrees with the evening summer sun not even close to setting. As I held my husband’s hand, I thought of this:

I’ve always had a fragile relationship with clocks. Especially the ones with alarms. My family once owned a grandfather clock and every day at seven in the morning, we’d be awoken with uncharming bells.

Fast forward, just twelve years later, there was that period of time when I suffered from terrible insomnia. And I swear I could hear the silent ticking of my wristwatches. That night, at four in the morning, I set out to turning off every single wrist watch I owned.

And that’s the moment, I remembered as clear as a grandfather clock’s bell, waiting to watch the Prague Astronomical Clock show just three minutes before six.

Prague’s astronomical clock, one of the oldest clocks in Prague dates back to the medieval days. You know that time. Those were the good ol’ days, where an obscene amount of money was spent on the church.

It’s managed to survive history: civil wars, the absolving of a country, two major world wars. And rain. It survived rain. For those of you who live in the Los Angeles area, you know how hard it is to survive the freeway on a rainy day. So, an astronomical clock surviving over six hundred years of rain is pretty amazing.

At 5:57 pm, we waited for what seemed like forever for the passing of the 6 o’ clock hour. More people gathered around eagerly awaiting the free show that occurrs every hour on the hour. It’s a show that’s more faithful than Ol’ Faithful herself.

At 5:58 pm, people loomed closer popping our bubble of privacy. The air grew hotter, people grew louder, I grew thirstier. My husband wiped a little sweat off his brow.

At 5:59 pm, hands began to pull at the day-backpack my husband carries. But, they weren’t my hands. Those hands belonged to someone who was painfully obvious in their attempt to pickpocket. “There’s only water in there, bro,” said my husband. The hands stopped and retreated into a faceless abyss.

At 6:00 pm, the crowd hushed and Prague’s astronomical clock conducted its faithful routine of twelve apostles walking past the clock windows, a skeleton ringing a bell, and a real live trumpet player playing a tiny song.

There's a skeleton up there. There’s a skeleton up there.

At 6:01 pm, we departed for some warm beer and goulash. This was the start to our honeymoon and another memory to add to our rocking chair days when we’re 80 and yelling at those young whippersnappers to get off our lawn, dagnabbit!

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