At a friend’s house, I took note of a beautiful cuckoo clock hanging on their family room wall.
“I grew up in a home with a cuckoo clock,” the host explained, “and I wanted my kids to enjoy one, too.”
I looked at my husband. He looked at me.
“Do we still have it?” he asked.
“We sure do,” I answered. When we got home that night, I rummaged around the basement and found the small cardboard box housing our own small cuckoo clock. We bought it on our honeymoon when we passed through Germany and toted it all the way home in a carry-on bag.
We’d hung it in our old home, but took it down when our little kids found the dangling chains irresistible and would tug at them. It’s been in storage for years.
My husband tapped a nail into the wall and we hung it yesterday. We started up the pendulum and slowly turned the hands to mark the hour.
The little door flew open and the plastic bird poked out its head. He wheezed.
“Oh, phooey,” I complained. “It’s lost its song.”
“Well, it still ticks,” observed one of the girls.
To set the time, I had to work my way around the clock, so the bird got a lot of exercise. By the time I got to eleven o’clock, he started to utter a breathy khoo(pause)-khoo…(pause)-khoo…(pause)-khoo.
Later that night, I was standing near the clock when 10:00 p.m. rolled around.
Out popped the bird.
“Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo….”
“Hey! Hey, did you hear that?” The rest of the family rushed to listen to his little song. After years of neglect, he finally found his voice. He just needed to warm up and get some practice.
He must have puffed out whatever dust was holding him back. What a delightful moment, hearing the little bird come to life!
Resurrecting Forgotten Talents
The cuckoo made me think of a story I read recently. It was about a pastor who, after teaching the parable of the talents, entrusted each adult congregant with $50 and each child with $10. They were given seven weeks to double the amount, the proceeds going toward their missions program.
The article goes on to highlight story after story of people resurrecting dusty, forgotten gifts and talents in order to raise that money. They invested their $50 in the supplies or materials needed, and then, drawing from old abilities, they built and sewed and cooked and created all kinds of objects and opportunities that they would never have thought of, had the pastor not issued that challenge.
As I read about those people, I wondered if I’ve stuffed away some old skills and abilities. I wonder if I’ve neglected some talents and with a little exercise, they could sing again?
I remembered how I used to enjoy baking bread. And I noticed a needlepoint project stuffed in a plastic storage box in the basement. And in another container sat a half-finished afghan I started to crochet years ago. Oh, and I saw my old clarinet case on the floor in the closet this week.
Maybe it’s time to reacquaint myself with some fingering charts or thread a needle and see what pattern I selected over a decade ago to stitch?
As I typed this, the cuckoo cheerily announced the hour. How happy to be out in the open, dusted and free to express itself!
I wonder if I would feel the same, were I to bring out the types of projects I used to enjoy?
Perhaps we all would enjoy revisiting old pleasures—just grab a dust rag and be prepared to wheeze while warming up.
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