The Time of Day

Not so very long ago, a friend told me a story about a year she spent working in Egypt—long, long ago. On her way to work every day, there was one particularly, almost impossible, intersection which she had to cross on foot.


The intersection was so busy, with at least six lanes of traffic crossing in each direction, that there was a police officer dedicated to directing traffic there.

Each day the officer did his job of moving traffic along in a very efficient manner. Yet, if the officer recognized a very dear friend among the mishmash of cars, bicycles or pedestrians, all traffic would be called to a halt, while he leisurely asked after that person’s day, well-being and family, catching up on the most important social news.

In concluding her tale, my friend said, with a deep sigh of longing, “If only we could transplant that one aspect of Egyptian culture into our own, things would be so much better here. As it is, we barely have the time of day for one another.”

I acknowledge you, here and now.