Greetings, I hope you are enjoying the new year so far. It certainly promises to be an interesting ride. I took the above pics while sitting in the car during a ten minute drive around. Sadly, I can’t spend much more time than this away from home without experiencing extreme exhaustion. Having said that, I am grateful for all that I can do, and this was a good day.
Every remaining day, of one particular summer holiday when I was a boy, and Just back home from the family fortnight, I would meet with my friends, and we would play together in abandoned neighbouring farmland. Before long, we put our heads together, and decided to build a two level treehouse in the branches our favourite oak tree. It was ancient, and tall, with many long branches for us to utilise. We loved this tree like a member of our gang. We utilised available planks and rope, and whatever else we could find lying scattered where the farmhouse had stood. The treehouse took less than a week to complete. Here we drunk lemonade, and swapped comics. When hungry, we helped ourselves to apples, gooseberries, strawberries, and suchlike. They grew freely and in abundance amongst the wildflowers and tall bushes growing all around. All in all, it was turning out to be a very good summer holiday.
One day, when September was approaching, a gang of ruffians bore down on us. They came, orc-like, thrashing through the tall grass. They threatened to hurt us if we didn’t surrender our treehouse. My friends decided it would be wise to run away, and so they did. Not this fool. I refused to surrender, and defended the structure from barrage after barrage of flying stones taken from a crumbling boundary wall. Next thing, the thin planks making up one side of our den were demolished. I grabbed the corrugated iron roofing and made a shield around my exposed flank. The raining stones were deafening against my ear, and worse yet were the threats and taunts. Before long, the floor collapsed, and I fell, wearing short sleeves and trousers, into the moat of tall nettles that was lying directly below.
We lost our hideaway that day. The gang took over the remains of our treehouse. Days passed, and that would have been it, except for the surprising fact that I had earned their respect, or so it seems. One of them approached me with an invitation to join them for an afternoon in the tree, and I accepted. The first thing I noticed was that the wild flowers that graced the field were all gone. The treehouse had received some very rudimentary repairs, and I sat, with some trepidation, in a corner, to observe the ways of these boys. They read naughty mags, and smoked cigarettes. I flatly refused both things. They spoke rudely, and plotted ill doings, including thefts, and truancy. When they grew hungry, there was no fruit growing for free to be found, and so they opted to scrump apples from a dwelling close to the road. From here they were chased off promptly, and with strongly worded threats to call the police ringing in their ears. I didn’t waste a single minute more of my time with these fellows, but I do thank them sincerely for the truly great lesson about life, and mother earth they gave me on that one cloudy afternoon.
Now they remind me of our brothers and sisters who have stolen by force, the earth herself, leaving wastelands behind them. *Thorn bushes grow where the enemy has camped. Many decades have passed since our happy treehouse, and the way the earth once fed us freely. The landscape of childhood has changed out of recognition. It is built over, and no longer allowed to feed any hungry children at play. I miss mother earth. So much of the bounty that heaven provides freely according to our need, has had a price put on it by naughty children who throw stones. I am very happy though, to contemplate the fact that too much Yang will become Yin. Therefore the pendulum is, perforce, swinging back again towards universal righteousness, and nothing but nothing can stop it. The good are becoming better, while the better are becoming best. Can you not feel this, like a call coming from inside of yourself?
I hope you enjoyed that memory of mine from a time long gone. The moral is timeless. Until next time, peace and good cheer from me.
“Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,
who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.
May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.
Your Heavenly Domain approaches.
Let Your will come true – in the universe
just as on earth
Give us wisdom for our daily need,
detach the fetters of faults that bind us,
like we let go the guilt of others
Let us not be lost in superficial things
but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.
From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,
the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.
Sealed in trust, faith and truth.”
The Lord’s Prayer, in its original Aramaic form.
Photography ©Francis Moloney.