Affiliate notice

Affiliate links may be included in posts, as on sidebar ads, for which compensation may be received.

Friday, September 18, 2009

You Are Here

Lenox, in western Massachusetts, and the large stone road marker points the general direction of other towns down the roads at the crossing, but will not tell you how many miles to go. That’s your worry. The marker conveniently and most expeditiously doubles as a sundial, so that if it happens to be sunny, you may happen to tell the time. GPS units and BlackBerries are for sissies, so are precise mile markers, except for the old brownstone ones that Ben Franklin had put up you can still find along the winding road to Boston we call Route 20, but back in the day (and in many sections still) was the King’s Highway.

Put away your iPods, your cell phones that do everything but make soup. All you need to know is the motto at the upper part of the monument inscribed:

I have a lesson for all who have eyes,
And a motto for all who will learn.
Then hasten in time to be wise,
And the value of hours discern.

You can find this typical sundial motto in “The Book of Sun-dials” by Mrs. Alfred [Margaret Scott] Gatty, whose 19th century catalogue of English sundials and their mottos is available here.

A lesson on the value of hours, on a road sign with no miles. Einstein fiddled a lot with equations about time in relation to space. That was his worry. It you are standing before this marker, late for an appointment, it might be yours, too.

Never mind. Consider the value of hours, and lazily pick a direction.

No comments:

Now Available