Timing it Right
A vacation some time ago, across one of the oceans bordering North America:
I’m having a lovely relaxing time, watching a round moon spilling molten silver on the sea. A glass of wine in hand, I’m in a relaxed frame of mind…
Wow, I wish the kids were here to see this! Why don’t I phone and say hello? Six hours difference… ok, the timing is right, 4 p.m. at home– #1 grandson should be home from school by now.
Rrrring. A low voice croaks “Mom?” Then an intense alertness: “Mom! What’s wrong? Are you guys ok?”
“Oooooooh!” I blubber, “I’m so sorry, sweetie, sorry! I figured the time difference in the wrong direction. Sorry! Go back to sleep; I’ll call later when you’re up…”
I hear a dark groan, then the groggy but gracious voice mumbles, “Ok. Love you Mom.” Click.
Hubby comes up, and I tell him what I just did. “Oh boy, how could you? You have to count the hours the other way. This is Hawai’i, not Europe!” (Sad to say, I have accomplished this same result from both places, so I can’t actually remember where this particular story happened. In either case, simply exchange place names, and substitute sun for moon, coffee for wine in the first scene.)
Anyway, I feel a little better about my confusion when, a few evenings (or mornings) later, Hubby walks into the room with an ashen face. “Guess what I just did…!”
How is it possible that reasonably intelligent people who have, from early school days on, known how the earth turns in its 24-hour spin (and therefore how that affects the passage of sunlight across its surface, how that affects what we call day and night as created in a universal order, intelligently, by design; and how we then have established how to slice our globe into time zones with the resulting hours, minutes, seconds determining when we should get up, work and play, and go to bed)– how is it possible that we could, in a split second, override common knowledge and commit such a silly blooper?
Aaah, maybe it was simply the heart overriding the brain! When we’ve been whisked through the skies by airliner to another spot on the planet, and have been absorbed into a new environment as we ourselves absorb its sights, sounds, smells, and even touch, we lose the feeling of distance. We carry our loved ones in our hearts all the time. So this love, and the desire to know their well-being and to share these exciting new experiences, must flow strongly enough in the feeble moment to overcome the natural tides of time known only in our brain.
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How does this bode for instant communication on future trips? Do we all have to tremble at the very thought of unnecessarily disturbed slumber? No problem–I’ve just discovered the amazing timeanddate.com website! On their home page, under “Time Zones,” check out their handy Time Zone Converter, and Meeting Planner. I’ve bookmarked these, so wherever we go from now on (as long as I remember to look): sleep well, my child!