A sundial stands alone in the ruins of an ancient garden. Its white granite face turns up to the sky, watching the pageant of the heavens. While once it marked the hours of coming and going, of flowers opening and closing, days begun and nights approaching, now it faithfully tracks the centuries, solitary, a sightless eye.
In the tower there had been a clock, but its bells are rusted to silence, gears and chains crumbled. The sundial still marks the hours with a faithful shadow, as sure as the sun moves in the sky. In time, even the granite will crumble, worn down with rain and wind, summer heat and winter cold, the eager roots of seething vines, but the sky it watches will remain, circling on and on when the sundial’s dust is buried deep in the earth. The same as when its stone was once a liquid mass beneath the crust, or even before when it came raining down from the heavens onto a congealing ball of matter orbiting a newborn star, or yet when its elements were born in the mighty death of the father star and scattered through space. Each molecule, in its ordered crystalline structure, once part of the chaos of genesis, an unimaginable heat that forges elements from the hammer of a collapsing star on the anvil of a neutron core.
And billions of years later, in a quiet, cool, and forgotten place, the stone stands as it was set by a hand and mind, to mark the passing of a gentler star.