Clock-like Places

This morning I went to Arista Deli and Coffee and sat on the patio. It was sometime between 8:00am and 9:00am and the patio was shady. I sipped on my coffee and read a book and the sun slowly crept forward. There was a very clear delineation between the sun and the shade. Soon enough the line of the sun began to touch me and warm my legs and shine into my eyes. I scooted my chair into the remaining shade. And I thought to myself how interesting that location was.

For lack of a better phrase, I wanted to describe the place as “clock-like”. It was a place where the passage of time was very clear. It showed a visible line on the pavement slowly creeping forward. It provided the sensory transition from cool to warm to hot. And there was a very strong contrast between the before and after. Before: A cool and dark patio. After: A bright and hot patio. And the transition between the two states happened so quickly.

And I started to wonder if other clock-like places existed and how they could be classified. I would call the patio at Arista a clock-like place of two senses. Meaning you experience the passage of time with both sight and touch.

I suppose any place that has exposure to the sun has a degree of clock-ness. But some places are definitely more clock-like than others. Compare a windowed bedroom in Colorado vs a windowed bedroom at the North Pole. At the North Pole the bedroom’s light variance would be less than the one in Colorado. It lacks contrast. It’s stable and consistent day after day. There’s little change. But in Colorado the sun comes up and the sun goes down daily. The intensity of the light becomes the contrasting indicator of what time it is.

Another clock-like place might be the forest on a still day. Along with light and temperature, you have sound as a contrasting indicator. As the day breaks the character of the forest’s soundscape changes. At night the sound of owls and other nocturnal creatures. As the light approaches you hear a bird chirp. And then another and another until the daytime soundscape becomes dominate.

Thinking of the broad categories of clock-ness isn’t as interesting to me as finding specific clock-like places. I’ll have to think more about this and see if I can find any other good clock-like places.