Monday, October 15, 2007

The Wonderful Gift by Bee L. for blog action day

Once upon a time there was a boy. Because he was much loved, he was given a wonderful gift - a large crystal sphere wrapped in a cloth of finely woven silver threads. It's intricately faceted surface sparkled with a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors; rich, warm reds, golden yellows and oranges, lush greens and spectacular blues, from the lightest icy hues to the darkest midnight tones.

It‘s breath-taking beauty, however, was only a small part of the magic of the sphere. The boy needed only to keep it clean and polished with the silvery cloth and it would provide him with all his needs. When he was hungry, he could reach inside and find nourishment. When he was thirsty, he could pour from it clear, cool water and drink until his thirst was quenched. When he was cold, he had only to hold it close and it would glow from within and warm him. When he was hot, he could lie down beside it and a gentle breeze would blow from it to cool him. During times of trouble, he could gaze into it’s depths and be comforted. And if he was lonely, he could roll it gently back and forth and a choir of angelic voices would sing to him.

Time passed and the boy grew older. As a man, he began to take his wonderful gift for granted. The cloth became trapped under a stone and he left it there, not wanting to lift the heavy rock to retrieve it. He used dirty hands to reach into the sphere for food or to pour his water and he always took more of each than he needed. He treated the sphere roughly and scratched it both inside and out He left fingerprints all over it’s sparkling surface.

Before long, the food was less abundant and less nutritious; the water became murky. The warm glow wasn’t as warm as it had once been and the cool breezes brought with them a stench. He could not see into the depths to be comforted any more and the voices no longer sang. Instead of sparkling and gem-like, the sphere’s colors were flat and dull.

Eventually, the man had a boy of his own and wanted to share the wonder of his gift. He looked at it now through clear eyes, eyes free of the scales of greed and apathy. He was deeply ashamed of how he had neglected the sphere. He was saddened to think that his son would never experience it’s magic.

It was then that he remembered the cloth. He rushed to the stone that held the cloth captive. Because he was older and the stone had become set into place, he had to work hard to pry it off of the cloth. When it was finally free, he shook it clean and looked at it. In the corner were embroidered the words “hope and diligence.” With tears flowing down his face, he went to his gift and began slowly polishing each facet one small surface at a time.

His son, who had been watching his father, understood the importance of what he was doing. He went to his father and held out his tiny hand. The man tore a piece from the cloth and gave it to him. He taught him how to use it and, together, they began the long task of saving the sphere from years of neglect. Others that had either known or heard of the original wonder of the sphere, gathered to offer their help. Soon, thousands of hands had taken small pieces of the cloth and were working steadily to restore it’s magic and beauty.

It wasn’t an easy thing to do. The sphere had been neglected a long time and the damage was great. Some came to jeer and make fun of them for working so hard. They urged the man to continue taking and taking from the sphere without thought given to the toll it might take. But the man and his helpers had grown wise and didn’t listen. They continued their work, steadfast in the hope for a complete restoration. Little by little, their diligence was rewarded. Once more, with sparkling gem-like facets, the sphere gave freely of its gifts. There was abundant food and fresh, clean water. The people were warmed and cooled and comforted. And once again, the angelic voices sang their songs.

Instead of being content to live ‘happily ever after,’ they continue to diligently clean and polish the sphere. And they teach their young to do the same, in hopes that all generations will be able to experience the wonderful gift.

It is my personal belief that God, indeed, gave us a wonderful gift - the earth. It’s beauty and grandeur far surpasses anything that man has created. It has provided us with all the necessities of life - food, water, shelter and yes, comfort. I know I have looked out over the Smoky Mountains and felt hugged by God. I love the song the earth sings to me, with it’s waterfalls and oceans and trickling streams. I love the colors it shows me in sunsets, sunrises and stormy skies.

Yet, for many years we have not kept it clean and polished. We have left our dirty finger prints all over our precious gift. I’m not talking just about major corporations dumping filth into our rivers or logging companies clear cutting our forests. That is certainly part of the desecration. But it’s also the little things that we, as individuals do on a daily basis. We take long showers, we fill our landfills with things that could be recycled. We think nothing of throwing cigarette butts out of car windows like the world is our personal ashtray. We drive when we could walk. Thousands of little things that add up to big abuse.

I am not a scientist with a magic plan. I have no statistics to spout off and show everyone exactly how much damage we are doing to our world. I am not even your typical, tree-hugging environmentalist (although I welcome the label.) I am a 50 year old, overweight wife and mother. I am, in fact, just one ordinary person. But I believe that if enough of us “just one persons” band together we can make a huge difference. We can walk more, take shorter showers. We can recycle and buy recycled goods. We can build “green” and use renewable resources to decorate our homes. We can adopt that zero-tolerance attitude towards litter and pollution. If we join together to polish it one facet at a time, we can help make our wonderful gift sparkle again. For ourselves and for our children.


doodles said...

you are a GEM!!!

tiedye said...

What a beautiful story, Bee. Thank you for such a moving entry. I'm going to read this to my family tonight.

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