I was reading in bed, early on this Sunday morning and suddenly became aware of the sound of church bells. I stopped reading, listened, and counted the bells, even though I knew it was eight o'clock.
Then I had to laugh, because I do this every time I hear the bells. Like I have to count to make sure the church has the time right. Like God would make such a mistake.
When the bells came again at nine, I trusted and did not count. At ten, the bells rang out the hour and then music, until just before the church service began at eleven.
Our town has many bells. The town hall has a bell tower and the hour and half hour are announced daily. I've been downtown, or nearby and heard the bells, and remember counting them at that time too.
I was always good in math and I like numbers. Thinking about this now, I realize I count things as a habit, as a way of passing time.
I count the rail cars on the train, when I'm waiting at the tracks, waiting for the bar to rise so I can continue on my way. I count the number of cars that make it through an advance green. Not all the time, most often when that first car has been particularly slow and I think I won't make it through the intersection before the light turns red.
Now I'm not OCD or anything, I just have a curious and busy mind that never stops. Sometimes it just needs a break from more serious things, and counting church bells is as good as a rest.