When I was a young lad, I developed a fascination with time and what made things tic or work, and it has stayed with me throughout my life. Sometimes it has been a healthy fascination, while at other times, I could consider it to be a curse, but in either case, it has allowed me the opportunity or the eagerness to learn. So much so that as a child in grade school I read through two entire sets of encyclopedias that my grandmother had given us, along with any old Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and How To magazines I could get my hands on. Reading them as you might a novel that you thoroughly enjoyed, over and over again. And as I aged, I found that I could use what I had learned not only in my life but also in the lives of others.

I was learning how to do things that the other kids my age weren’t interested in, like how to do an automotive brake job, or tune-ups, how chains, sprockets, belts, and pulleys worked, and how to repair or replace them, etc., while they were all off doing something with other kids in the neighborhood.

I remember one of my earliest discoveries being what made my watch work. I had a Timex wristwatch that I wore day in and day out, and one day my fascination with how things worked got the better of me. I remember setting down at my mom’s kitchen table with my pocket knife and my handy-dandy miniature screwdriver set, locating and removing the pins that held my watch to its band; using the tip of my knife against the shoulder of the pins to press down and release the tension on the springs in each one, allowing me to remove them and the band from my watch. Next, I placed the back edge of my knife blade along the small space between the watch case and the back cover, and with the slightest of twists from my knife, I popped the cover open. Afterward, carefully lying it aside, before removing the plastic hold-down that partially covered the internal workings, giving me an unobstructed view of what I could have only imagined having been underneath.

After looking around a bit I remember locating the set screw which held the stem and crown in, then the small screws which held the backing plate to the internal gears. After removing these screws, along with the stem, and crown, I saw so many moving pieces which gave me what could only now be described as a feeling of ecstasy. So many small gears and a ratcheting gear, all moving in time one with another, as if it were breathing. I remember sitting there watching each gear turn, one with the other while the piece I thought to be the primary timekeeper continued to ratchet forward, then back over and over again. I watched and was amazed at how each part, in that case, worked together to make the watch function properly.

After carefully reassembling all of the parts, I put my watch back on my wrist where it continued to run, becoming a watch I would wear for many years.

And now, many years later, I catch myself looking upward to the heavens, in the evening or early morning hours, with that same fascination, gazing in admiration as I did when I opened my watch. Only now a tear or two escapes; while I watch the twinkling of the stars, and admire the construction and placement of the constellations, Milky Way, untold galaxies, and places that I cannot even imagine but have been told exist. The calming beauty is amazing and bewildering to me at the same time.

And although I don’t have all of the knowledge or the ability to fully understand how it all works or why it’s even there, I’m all right with it, as I don’t look for answers about the heavens as I did with the watch. I like to think that everything in our world, you, me, and all of those things I can only imagine to exist in the heavens above me, are all like the inside of my watch, all working in unison, each dependent on the other to function, to be the best of whom we were created to be.

But still, I’m drawn to looking up and admiring everything that is above me and pondering in awe on why I’ve been blessed as I have, and why I am a part of this masterpiece.

And I find the thought; of knowing that the God who made and put the skies into motion, like that ratchet gear, keeping my watch working, is the same God who cares enough about me, to give me the breath and strength needed to face each day, overwhelming and amazing.

*Did you know that our entire solar system, including the Earth, moves through the cosmic background of space at about 370 miles per second for a total of 32 million miles in a twenty-four-hour period?


Mike Sutton
Mike Sutton
Greetings from M L. Sutton, a born-again Christian and retired citizen of the Great Lakes State of Michigan, currently living in the Northern Michigan town of Cheboygan. A father of two wonderful adult children who also live in Cheboygan, and a husband of forty-three years, before losing my wife to a health-related illness in May 2020.  I began writing in a journal in April 2020, with the words and feelings that I had wished to express to my wife but could not because of pandemic guidelines and her illness. After her demise, I continued to write to vent the hurt, confusion, frustration, and sorrow associated with her absence in my life, culminating with the release of my first book, “To Lose a Soul Mate,” which was published by Xulon Press, and released to the public on September 25, 2022. In losing my wife, God had given me a gift, one that I could share with others, the gift of writing what my heart felt and my eyes saw, as though looking through the windows of my heart. This new gift allowed me the opportunity to see through the pain and grief of losing my wife and to recognize the beauty that had always been around me, but I had not taken the time to fully enjoy, or be thankful for it. I now write for enjoyment, as it gives me a sense of peace and comfort, sharing my material as a Featured Contributor on, BIZCATALYST 360°, The Writers Café, and Dirt Road Storytelling, both on Facebook, while also working on a second book, a collection of writings from both heart and soul; which I plan to have published at a later date.  Before that, I was enjoying retirement with my wife, after having worked for nearly 31 years for the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources, as a Park Manager in various parks throughout the state of Michigan. 

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE