a story of time around the world
Kamon (Diane Therrien)
Copyright © 2016 by Kamon (Diane Therrien)
Edited by Robyn Opie Parnell
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More than 50 titles…
VIKTOR IN LOVE
CLINT THE LINT KEEPER
LITTLE CROC KEEPS HIS PROMISE
WALLY THE WANNABE PET
THE ONION AND THE PEAR
THE MAHOGANY DANCER…
Thank you to my best friend, Khun Pranee Yuenyongvanichakij, for her invaluable help and support.
Miss Lenny said, “Let’s pretend that I come from a faraway land and that I ask you to help me understand what TIME is. What would you tell me?” With a smile, she added, “And I’m giving you a bit of time now to reflect on the question before answering.”
Some kids frowned, some stared at each other in a puzzled way, a few looked at the ceiling, and others started to doodle, but all brains were busy looking inside for possible answers.
Emerson gazed at the window.
He saw on the window pane a father ladybug with his wife and children, taking off to a greener place.
But Emerson’s mind didn’t stop at the window. He looked at the man working in the deserted playground. He imagined that a friendly earthworm named Gilbert was luckily saved from being cut in two by a stone and said, “Pfew!”
At the same moment, Emerson thought about Jinny, who was absent from school, and who maybe right now was hugging her returning father at the airport.
Emerson’s mind flew eastward over the Atlantic Ocean, far away, to a different country named Iceland. Emerson pictured the handsome Mr. Puffin coming out of the surf with one of his numerous daily snacks.
From there, Emerson’s mind went further east to the Alps, in the waning afternoon, where mother goat was teaching her nervous kid the skill of rock jumping.
The time was already 6 pm in the Himalayas, where Emerson saw a mother yak settling down with her timid calf in the last rays of the day. The burnt orange sun was sinking between the majestic mountain peaks.
Emerson thought, “We can be so far from each other and yet we are all breathing the same air at the same time…”
Emerson’s mind kept on travelling, and he found himself half of the world away from home. The sky was dark with twinkling stars in Thailand where a Horsfield’s fruit bat
just avoided a cast net covering a mango tree.
Not too far from there, in the land of Mount Fuji, a baby dwarf squirrel made its first attempt at a night flight.
All of these moments were just a few, Emerson knew.
He remembered the day his dad pointed to a map and explained, “When it is 10 am here, it is 10 pm in Thailand and the sun is rising in the west side of the country.”
A few breaths later, Emerson could see in his mind, the sun rising over a caring mother otter and her cub wrapped in kelp, eating a fishy breakfast.
Nearer to home, his cousin Gina was just waking up. Emerson thought, “The time must be 7am there.”
All of this happened in the same time …
“Time’s up,” Miss Lenny said, bringing Emerson’s mind back to the room. “What can you tell me that will help me understand time?”
When Emerson’s turn came to speak, he put his hand up and answered, “I would try to explain that time is a huge multiplication of breaths, something like billions of breaths. We count time using words like minutes, days, nights, and years but you can understand time by counting breaths; breaths of all living creatures in the world, the breaths before and the breaths after.”
How would you answer the teacher?