Thursday, January 19, 2012

The tale of the king & the servant...


I curled up in her arms: as she once again recounted my favorite childhood story… Her raspy voice was melodious and true, filled with hope and sincerity


Once upon a time in a far, far away land lived a king and his servant. This land was lush, full, and plentiful… The forest served as a fortress around his castle.


 The King and his servant had grown very close throughout the years.  The servant served as a guardian, teacher, and faithful friend to the King.  Through all the years side by side the servant always reminded the King of one truth:  all that happens in this life is  for our benefit, for our good.


One day the king decided to go out on an adventure and of course the servant followed. 
As they traveled through the forest they unfortunately encountered a huge monstrous creature, resembling Beowulf‘s antagonist, Grendel. The servant in all his might, did everything he could to protect the king, and defeat the evil creature. And he did, he defeated the creature.


The King and his servant’s lives were spared, thanks to his fearless servant, but regrettably the king lost a finger in battle. Surprisingly the king was furious at his servant for not having saved his finger and threw the servant in jail.But although thrown into jail the servant repeated this one truth: all that happens in this life is for our benefit, for our good.


The king’s adventurous spirit didn’t take long to rise again. A little after a month, the king was out and about alone, in search of a new thrill out in the forest.  As he trenched through the woods he encountered a group of savages that immediately took him hostage. As the savages rejoiced as they prepared the fire for this sacrificial offering, the king. The king prayed as he lay in preparation for death.


As the fire crackled and churned away, the savages examined their sacrificial offering one last time they noticed the king’s missing finger. “ He is unfit!” they exclaimed and abandoned his body in the woods. The king was tarnished and an unfit offering that evening. The words of the kings servant resounded in his mind: all that happens in this life is for our benefit, for our good.  His life was spared because of his missing finger! 


He hurried home and immediately freed his servant from jail as he begged for his forgiveness.  The king was left with one troubling question; why did he throw his humble servant in jail? His servant had done no wrong, simply protected his king and was thrown in jail like a criminal?


The king shared his confusion with the servant. But again the servant humbly replied this one truth: all that happens in this life is for our benefit, for our good.  


The servant went on to explain " if I wasn’t in jail the evening you went out into the woods I would have been with you. And would have definitely  been killed, because I have all my limbs...
... zzzzzz

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

le palmier, l'arbre de la victoire...

 Victory, honor, truth, value , vitality , warmth , fertility ,expansion ,protection, aspiration, attainment, unification…  all characteristic of an entity in nature.. All qualities of what our forefathers found to exemplify a nation. A nation filled with revolutionaries.

Upon gazing at a palm tree, I seldom think of Hurricane Flora, who struck the south west peninsula of Haiti in 1963, one of the deadliest hurricanes in our history wiping out thousands of lives and leaving over a hundred thousand homeless.

At 7 years of age, my father’s life was changed forever.

 After a restless night filled with strong winds, rain and prayer,  the 7am radio news broadcaster exclaimed that school was postponed  for yet another week. This little boy’s contentment could be readily seen across this toothless smile.”What could possibly be more wonderful?” He thought. “..one more week filled with soccer till dawn,  trios-sept with his sisters, quality time with his nomadic father.” His imagination ran wild.

The solemn look on his papa’s face was slightly disturbing and rather mysterious. Why didn’t his father share his excitement?  Has his father not heard the news?
He clenched his papa hands as they both slipped through the tall cedar door and peeked outside.  He followed his father’s footsteps up the rocky hill that led up to the overlook of their small village, Casanet, Beaumont, and finally he understood.

Everything was annihilated. Their young peasant family had lost almost everything. As his tiny palms clung on to his somber Papa’s finger tips, they surveyed the once rich, green and fertile mountain tops. Entire towns were buried by landslides, and their once so fertile lands filled with ample vegetation were entirely destroyed by the inland flooding. As they screened the land there was only one standing monument, which was rather perplexing to a 7 year old boy. So he asked “Papa why is that palm still standing?...”

Our national tree, le palmier, stood taller and rose above. The evergreen looked up toward heaven and performed exquisitely in this deadly storm. A few short hours ago, the strong winds attempted to tear it down, havoc wreaked as the 60 foot edifice swayed from side to side, witnessing hundreds of homes crumble to their feet. And that day, it served as a symbol of hope to a tiny, seven year old boy. The palm, a symbol of protection, peace, and opportunity, has served as the tree of life to this family as it had to millions for thousand of years. 

In the midst of what appeared to be the most horrific day of the year, stood a symbol of victory, a symbol of resilience. My father stared up at his father and couldn’t help but wear a huge grin, as if they shared a secret no one else would ever understand.

This wasn’t the end; it was only the beginning of a new season. A season filled  with joy, happiness, love, and hope.
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