A Mechanical Clock

In this memory, I am five years old. Once every week, I attend a group lesson at the local YAMAHA music school with my two best friends. We travel there with our mothers and our little siblings in a single five-seater car. After leaving the car at the nearby parking lot, we walk over to the building of the YAMAHA music shop.

It is located inside a shopping arcade. Just in front of the store, there is a large mechanical clock hung from the ceiling of the arcade. As we approach the clock, a quiet anticipation fills the air. We all look up as the clock strikes the hour and the golden doors beneath it start opening.

The famous music piece Canon by Pachelbel plays from above us while dolls dressed in old European-style clothes appear and start nodding their heads to the music. For a moment, everybody forgets why we are here. Looking up at the clock, we are all caught by the magic of the dolls’ performance. My little brother nods his head along with the dolls. I stand there, rooted, with eyes glued to the moving dolls.

Then, just like when it started, the music stops suddenly and the dolls go back behind the closing doors. The time starts flowing again around us, and I hear our mothers usher us to the building. Our class is starting soon.

“When will the dolls come out again?” Somebody asks.

“We will meet them again next week!” My mother’s voice rings in the air. “We say goodbye for now!”

And that is our weekly ritual – to be enchanted by the magic of the mechanical clock inside our familiar shopping arcade.