Although some philosophers claim that space and time do not exist, the fact is that since time immemorial man has felt the need to measure time. At first, they divided the month into days, based on the cycles of the moon; then they divided the day into hours and for that purpose, they created a precision instrument called a sundial.

It seems that the first rudimental sundials date back to the Neolithic, but it is certain that the Greek philosophers perfected such a device, to measure the time of the day. In 263 BC, the Romans placed a sundial in the Roman Forum, which had been built in Catania (Sicily).

Until the invention of the clock, people used sundials. Afterwards, they continued to build them just to decorate the facades of churches and palaces.

The sundial of the Church of St. John in Enna dates back to 1742, and it is still working.

Does time always flow at the same speed? It seems not. These days, time runs very fast. People are always busy and complain that they never have time. Was life better then or now?   

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind



Now I am at Arambol Beach in Goa (India) for my winter holidays.
How did I spend the last day of the year? At dawn, I went jogging on the beach, saluted the rising sun, and helped some fishermen that asked me to give them a hand to beach their heavy boat.
At night, I walked along the seaside where thousands of people were waiting for the stroke of midnight.
On the first day of the new year, I went to the beach at daybreak again. There were a few cleaners that were collecting the garbage littered by those who had celebrated Happy New Year all night.
I jogged and then saluted the rising sun as usual. It was the same sun as yesterday. Seeing me, the fishermen waved their hands from a distance. Nothing had changed! We humans divide time into days, months and years, and make wishes whenever a new year comes, but in nature there is only an uninterrupted flow of happenings without beginning or end.
Ettore Grillo author of these books:

  • November2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily
  • A Hidden Sicilian History
  • The Vibrations of Words
  • Travels of the Mind