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My Piece of the World: Ode to the humble cuckoo

By Jinifer Rae

For our twentieth anniversary, my husband bought me a cuckoo clock. For the readers who are thinking that is a terrible gift, I think it bears mentioning I love cuckoo clocks. Please indulge me a few lines regarding some of the advantages of having this particular style of a clock.

Obviously, the first reason to own a clock is to know what time it is at any given hour. However, the cuckoo clock that graces my dining room wall is so much more than a simple timekeeper. My cuckoo clock has hung in a place of honor for over six years now, and not one day has passed when it has not made me smile.

The design of the house is reminiscent of a little chalet in the springtime. The edges of the cozy home are surrounded by various flowers and evergreen trees dusted with snow. A quartet of German dressed dancers swirls at the beginning of every hour to twelve different melodies. One of the girl dancers carries a red umbrella opened as if a spring rain may burst through the sky at any moment.

But that’s one of the beauties I have noticed about cuckoo clocks. This little timepiece has a way of transporting the observer to another time and place, perhaps old Germany, or the Swiss Alps. When your imagination takes you there, it is never raining and time has a way of slowing down.

It takes slowing down and really looking closely at the fine details on my clock that allows notice of the cuckoo bird.
My clock has a little yellow bird with green wings, which comes out from behind a tiny door every hour on the hour.
When I worked twelve-hour shifts that little bird popping out at five in the morning was always a delight to start my day.

At the end of that long day, there he was again, patiently waiting to greet me as I walked through the door.
Sometimes when I am in the middle of a project around the house, his little chirping reminds me to stop and take a break. I love my beautiful clock. It was the perfect gift, especially the little yellow bird that never