The Gift of Time

“Okay, let me tell you something,” he said. “Time is just a made-up thing that we’re all expected to follow. Take your watch, for example. It’s tough and sturdy and all that, but it doesn’t make sense to set a meeting at 9:30am when everyone’s schedules are different.”

We were hanging out at the train station, feeling a bit out of place. There were digital clocks everywhere, but no fancy Swiss design railway clocks like I wanted. Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers.

As we waited, my friend wondered aloud about what might have changed since he last saw the person we were meeting. “Maybe they won’t be the same,” he mused.

“Who knows?” I shrugged. “People change, life happens. But at least they’re not too scared to meet you.”

“True,” he nodded. “That’s not always the case.”

Railway stations have always been full of metaphors for meetings and farewells. The clocks mark our uneasy relationship with time; arrivals are fleeting joy and departures are transitory sorrow. But amidst all of this, we appreciate little things like fast food to go or an ekiben-style lunch box. And in the fullness of time, hours and minutes blur into shadows.

Time is one of the most precious gifts you can give someone. You’re giving them a part of your life that you can never take back.

I decided to take a walk and get some coffee from the vending machine. As I strolled around, I couldn’t help but think about how technology has fixed our relationship with time. From the clocks on the wall to quartz wristwatches to smartphone features, time is always there. Screens in stainless steel frames tell us everything from the arrival schedule of trains to the latest news updates.

But sometimes it’s nice to take a break from it all. To just be in the moment, without worrying about what time it is. And as I sipped my coffee, I realized that time may be a social construct, but it’s also one that connects us all.

It was a typical day at the station, with trains arriving and departing like clockwork. The time was almost 10 a.m., and as usual, the trains were arriving promptly. The punctuality of trains has always been studied in depth, methodically and scientifically, and it’s one thing that people can rely on.

As we waited for our friend to arrive, the familiar sounds of the train echoed throughout the station. The doors opened and a woman stepped out. She looked at us and smiled, but there was a reservation in her expression that we couldn’t quite place.

“Hello, it’s been a while,” I greeted her. She nodded and smiled back. “Now you probably remember our friend here…”

We caught up for a bit, talking about old times and what had happened over the years. It was nice to reconnect with someone after such a long time. As we chatted, I couldn’t help but think about how time had passed us by so quickly.

Eventually, it was time for her to catch her next train. We said our goodbyes and watched as the doors closed and the train departed from the station. It was a reminder that time waits for no one, and we have to make the most of every moment we have.

In that moment, I realized that time is both precious and fleeting. It’s something that connects us all, regardless of where we are or what we’re doing. And while our relationship with time may be complicated, it’s also something that unites us in a shared experience of life.

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