LIGHTNING: Shared Time (for Zach) By Sharon Collins

Word Count
Shared Time (for Zach)
By Sharon Collins
What begins as the story of a Man and his Watch, ends as a story of a Man’s Mom and his Watch. My son purchased his first important timepiece, an Oris Artilier Date with skeletal movements in 2010. It acknowledged the all-important quarter-century milestone for him. Its acquisition was a partnership in discretionary spending as its price tag topped the two grand mark. My son has two black belts, one in an ancient martial art and a second one in the equally impressive Art-of-the-Deal. Exercising the second talent, he found his dream-watch discounted, tax and duty free, if ordered and paid for at Diamonds International Charlotte-Amalie, USVI. Since Mom happened to be cruising there, it was, as they a fait accompli. He wore that watch daily for four years, breaking in its quality leather band, casually showing it when it would impress, imbuing it with his wanderlust. In 2014, he gave it to me on Mother’s Day. It was the best gift ever, second only to an off-handed compliment given when he was a teen. “Mom, you’ve made a helluva Dad!” he told me one Father’s Day.
Now Gifting is an art form for us, especially me. For his 13th Birthday I gave him a Katana (sans live-blade of course). I presented him his 16th Birthday cake in Paris. And I took him to Tokyo for his 18th where he celebrated with some fine, old scotch. For Birthday Number 21, I expedited his passport renewal, a feat of magical proportions, allowing him a spur of the moment trip to Italy. So gifting me, his Mom, his first watch of real worth, was a turnabout act of both filial generosity and modern ideology. (He is a minimalist, as many millennials are, and being mid-watch-upgrade, he saw an opportunity; however, this does not detract from the symbolism.)
My son and I are Seekers of Ultima Thule, both literally and metaphorically. He wore this Oris on his first solo trek, 76 miles across Iceland to where the trail truly ends. His new watch has soloed across as many miles in Greenland to the foot of the Endless Ice, and it is headed north to end of civilization to solo on Baffin Island soon. As I said, Ultima Thule. Since gracing my wrist, the Artilier’s skeletal tick has grounded me on my own seekings. It has watched with me inside Stonehenge as dawn broke night’s hold, it has radiated with the warmth of a winter’s sun burning the red rocks of Sedona, it has yearned to the horizon wishing to worship at the feet of the mighty Bugarach. Its next journey will be to glacial blues of Alaska followed by a wander among the ancient stones of Carnac on the wild west coast of Brittany. And some day it will accompany me to the lightning kissed shoulders of Uluru. I do wear and will wear his watch daily, this gift from my son, its worth and workmanship, constant reminders of the Man he has become.

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