Chapter 5 – The Calm Before The Storm

I was standing on the porch of my house, which was slowly decaying as the principals that I had made the house from waned. There was a strange whisper in the wind that carried a vague message. It seemed to be a message of hope. Rain was coming. I stood there and stared at the vast sky and anxiously waited, so I could greet it. The sun slowly grew a little colder, from blistering hot to a pleasant warm as the dark clouds that carried rain slowly entered the scene. A smile appeared on my tired face after a very long time. I clapped my hands in joy and stared at the sky and the fields. The rich blend of colours in the scene gave me a new kind of energy, perhaps a fresh perspective. The brown fields, thirsty for rain, moving in waves as wind passed through them. The brown faded into blue and the fields became the sky, which had grey clouds slowly covering its entirety. The yellow of the sun was scarce now, but it was still present.

The first drops of rain came gently, slowly moistening the dry ground. I put my hand forward and let the drops fall on my arm. I took a deep breath and reveled in the smell of rain. The dry soil and the rain drops created a pleasant petrichor which reinforced my bones. I laughed and watched the rain wash and water my fields. For a moment, all my principals grew as strong as ever and my house was renewed. My personality and my character which I had used to decorate the house was enhanced. The floor of empathy and the walls of honesty grew stronger. The roof of kindness and the doors of generosity, the windows of love, the furniture of simplicity, the curtains of hope, the fence of loyalty and the foundations of modesty; everything was suddenly restored or so it seemed. The paint of honour and integrity that covered the house was as bright as ever. I smiled and stepped into the gentle rain. There was a calmness that I had longed for quite a while now. I closed my eyes and let myself soak.

There was a sudden flash of very bright light, followed by a great sound. My eyes opened and I was shaken. I looked up to the sky in question, and there was another bright flash of light and another noise. It was thunder, and it worried me more than it scared me. I have found that loud, invasive and immoral people bring ill things with them, and the same applied to the thunder. It was not just rain; it was a storm. The calm before the storm was but a device of nature, much like the treachery of people who build trust before deceiving you. The rain grew in volume and in intensity and there was a relentless onslaught. The field, I saw were now drowning, and the mischievous water seeped into my house and soon, I was waist deep in a flood. As I waded towards my house, It disappeared right in front of me. There was nothing left, and I stood there in disbelief. All those years, all the hard work gone.

Chapter 4 – The Long Drought

The fields were thriving. I was now more motivated than ever. All around the house I had built, there was hope in abundance. I would walk in the field, happily inspecting the crops, and later I would sit on the porch of my house, wondering about the future, when they would be ready for harvest, and bring great joy and pleasure. I must have spent years, taking care of the fields and nurturing them and watching the crops grow taller. Cultivating the land and honing my craft; that is what I did all these years, and this created a plethora of expectations. The kind which come with hard work, patience and persistence. I remember the beautiful clouds that watered the fields and the great sun under which everything grew.

As the long years passed, I learnt that everything is not what it always seems and change is often not for the good. Things and people who once were good, or rather seemed so, turn in an instant. Eventually, the kind of crop you grow does not matter. The crop of honesty, the trees of empathy and the endless field of flowers of good intentions, is not what is valued. The very foundations of my house which were made of kindness, generosity, love, simplicity, loyalty, honour and integrity were not enough to bear the burdens of this world. I learnt that the character one develops, is disregarded. The world wants the crops that yield fortune only.  Those who sow the mischievous seed of greed are heroes when the harvesting season arrives.

Just like that, the clouds and the sun, once my good friends and advocates for the fields, turned against me. There was none in the sky to water the crops as the clouds disbanded, and the once gracious sun scorched the earth. I was deceived. I was exposed to the harsh reality of the world. I experienced and saw things that I never otherwise knew of. My reluctance and refusal to adapt to the treacherous ways of the world was seen as a weakness. My house and my fields that held goodness were seen as a threat. There was a long drought; it taught me that with goodness, you cannot be a hero. You are not valued for principal. You are valued for the yield. I saw my fields slowly fade to brown, but I continued to work. I did not let the crops die, and I did not change the foundation of my house.

Goodness is not a weakness. Is it?

Chapter 3 – The Tree That Fell From The Sky

I have seen it.
When the day was younger.
And the night a distant tale.
When it was plenty
And scarce was its dearth
I have seen it
When words were kinder
And hearts simple and pure
When the winds were calm
And the shores untamed

I have seen it
When the land was vast
And grass tall and green
When the rivers sang
And the mountains danced 

I was there . . .
When the night fell quickly
And draped all in silence
When the veil was sewn
And hung from the sky

Still I observe
Most of them crossing
And on quest to find it
Souls scarring and tarnishing
And withering to dust

I will be here
When the sky falls down
And their quest fails
For what they seek
They had all along

Chapter 2 – The Green Flame

I had a dream last night while I was sleeping inside the house I made in the middle of the field. I was flying by a million stars. I was awestruck and glanced at all the passing stars, each more beautiful than the other. I flew across the Orion’s belt and came upon Betelgeuse. There I hovered in front of its magnificence. I tried to shield my eyes with my hand in hopes of getting a glimpse of the star’s beauty. Its light was so bright, it pierced my iris and penetrated my soul. There, I froze for what seemed to be forever, trying to steal a glimpse but never succeeding. The strangest thing happened though, as an eternity was spent in the effort. The star slowly faded. Its light diminished as if it was ready for me to gaze upon it. I looked straight at it and what I saw was severely disturbing.

Countless spirits were leeching off its light. Syphoning it away into their bottomless bellies. These were not the good spirits, but the wretched ones. They all had collars around their necks and they were being held there against their will by leashes which were held by deceitful men and women. Who were they? Why were they devouring the starlight? I ran towards them, hoping to be able to save the star but no amount of force could eliminate the imposters. Soon I had no more strength in me, and while floating away quietly, I closed my eyes and wished kindness and healing upon the spirits and their masters. There was a long silence. A blast of radiant light covered my floating body again. The spirits had broken free from their leashes and the men and women were no longer there. A tiny drop of tear escaped my eyes and floated away into the emptiness.

I woke up to a bright day outside. I rubbed my eyes, and went to the door and pushed it open. A few steps outside revealed the fields around me. They were full and the vast landscape was thriving with life. Towards the east, I had planted love of all things. The west field held the crop of honesty. The north had trees of empathy and in the south, there was an endless field of flowers of hope. In the middle stood my house. I was proud of the realm I had created. I held my tools in one hand and started another day of work in the fields. I labored away that day, thinking about how in the dream, only a mere charitable wish had the power to save the star.

Chapter 1 – The Promising Earth

Have you ever held fresh soil in your hands? On which no foot has ever walked and it has never been disturbed before? A field, full of soil that has only been touched by the soft hands of nature? Have you felt its purity? Have you ever held It close to yourself to experience the earthly aroma and experience a state of natural bliss. A field much like that I once was. A fresh canvas, ready to embrace the entirety of life. You see, when we enter the world it seems like there are endless horizons to traverse. Much like the farmer who plans for his fields, the world plans for you. The painting on that canvas could be anything.

In the folds of time I slowly developed myself to embrace the worldly life. I prepared myself to be measured against the conformity standards of society and slowly evolved into an acceptable human being, ready to work the field of life. In the very same field, I stood upon the soil and held it in my hands. The rich earth beneath me promised endless opportunities. I walked impatiently and felt my feet sink in the soil with every step I took till I reached the middle. Standing there, I could see the entirety of the field all around me. A vast landscape of fresh soil I saw, ready to be tilled and seeded.

I settled down in the middle of the field and built a shelter for myself. I decorated it with my personality and furnished it with my character. The floor, I made out of empathy and the walls from honesty. The roof overhead was made out of kindness and the doors were carved out of generosity. The windows were large and had love in them. The furniture was made out of simplicity and the curtains were sewn from hope. The fence around the house was made from loyalty and stones of modesty were in its foundations. The entire structure was painted with colors of honor and integrity. From there I started my work: to work the field, to paint the canvas and to create serenity.