One little light….is enough
Last week I participated in a training in storytelling. Not a ‘this is where you start, and this is how you end’ technique, no, a training in storytelling from the heart. Because, since I’m handing over more and more control, there seems to come more space in my life and yes…surprises. I never planned to go to this training, it was offered to me the day before it started as a friend couldn’t make it. I went, loving the subject…of course. So, you are my first audience ever to read a story I’ve never written, read or told before. Just for the sake of inspiration, diversity, change…there we go.
Her wet arms stretched out over the fence. The water had been, despite of the warm winter, pretty cold. She loved to swim in the pond. And now she was hungry. She couldn’t reach any further. Would it be possible, possible to grab that beautiful looking apple? She wondered whether her arms were too short or the apple to far from the fence. She hadn’t had one for at least a day and she was craving for it. Her grandpa suddenly appeared from behind her. ‘What are you up to, my little crook?’ as he reached over the fence and gave her the apple. ‘You know what, you can help me out today. I need to get all these apples picked and I could use some greedy hands like yours’ he said, as he winked. ‘I need to get them to the traders’ today, as tomorrow they might be worth half the money.’ The little girl ran into the house behind her, put on dry clothes, screamed a ‘sorry granny!’ to the woman in the house where she left the wet bunch and ran in to the apple tree orchard. ‘You know what,’ her grandpa said ‘you can see from the color of the apple if it is ripe. But be aware. I’ll tell you more about that. Just sit still and listen.We have so many different kind of apples in the orchard, and all of them have their own moment of truth, a moment in which they are best to be eaten. We have this big apple tree orchard. In the left corner we have the golden rennet. Dutch and perfect to bake apple pies with. But you’d better not eat them unbaked as they are not very nice then. In the right corner we have granny smith apples, they came all the way from Australia. Great if you like sour but fresh apples. In the front here on your right hand side, we have the golden delicious from the US, sweet and soft, and on the left there is the Fuji apple, my favorite. Do you know where this one originally comes from?’ The little girl shook her head. ‘From Japan. Funny isn’t it? All these trees have travelled quite far, but they seem to be just fine here in our grounds.’
‘Now, I have to mention the fact that it took me years to find out which trees were most happy where. At what time they were in or out of the sun. They didn’t immediately blossom when we planted them. They needed time to let their roots grow and create new ones here. Because putting a tree in a totally different ground, doesn’t mean it can grow straight away. It takes time to adjust its’ way of growing in the circumstances offered. Temperatures are different, the earth is different, even the way the sun shines here is different. And if we wouldn’t have watered the trees, they would never have grown. If we hadn’t fertilized their ground every now and then, they wouldn’t have had all they need to bring us the best of them. If we hadn’t given them the security from the nets, all the birds would have stolen the apples. And,’ as he continued he started to whisper, ‘let me share one little secret with you: Grandma lit one candle each and every day during their first two years, until they really became strong.’ Her big brown eyes opened widely. ‘But grandpa, just one light for all trees? Not one for every tree?’ she whispered. ‘No dear, just one light is enough’ he continued.’So,’ grandpa went on in his normal voice, ‘now you can start picking the apples from the trees, with just as much love for their offspring as we have surrounded them with during the years, only then they will give you their best in return next year again.’
The little girl was taken away by her grandpa’s story. He wasn’t such a storyteller, but whenever he did, it always touched her. She never thought about how it would be to grow up somewhere else. It felt like an enormous blessing she could go to her own bed in her own home that night. Overflown by gratitude she stood up, grabbed a basket and started picking.
I wish you a warm and loving Christmas time, surrounded by the people you love. And for all those of us dealing with pain, sorrow and loss, let us burn one candle each day, with the intention to make them find their light again, as one little light…is enough.