“If you want to govern the people, You must place yourself below them. If you want to lead people, You must learn how to follow them.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Eden stepped out from behind the wall. He glanced around him, ensuring the guards had not followed. He reached down and instead of brushing dust from his clothes, he patted it in. He hadn’t climbed walls since his childhood, today he’d climbed three. Instead of shaving and grooming, yesterday he’d told the servants he felt unwell and that they were to just leave him to rest, today the two-day-old stubble would hopefully be just enough to give him the disguise he needed.
The market stall holders were busily setting up their trade for the day, some still holding lanterns in the gloom of the early morning light. He walked on past them all, ducking his head whenever he felt someone was staring at him a little too long. He made his way to the docks and sat on the dockside watching the fisherman load their boats ready for the day. He’d always loved the water, but it was rare he was allowed to set foot near water these days. Too much of a risk. Maybe it would change when he married and had an heir, but what a heavy burden to put on a son, he should know.
A bell began to toll loudly, breaking his chain of thoughts. The people began to move and after a moment or two he followed, trying to blend in. The bodies heaved together in the narrow streets, eventually arriving at the temple. He found himself standing at the back with the other men, pretending to be one of them. There were not enough seats for everyone. He’d never noticed this before. His family had a special place they were led to each time they entered. The men around him lowered their heads and mumbled along with the prayers. When the time came for each of them to say their own prayers, they whispered of hopes for their families; food, shelter, medicine and health. Lastly, they whispered for the Monarch, thanking God for his presence in their lives and praying for his continued good health. As he heard the words of the whispers drift towards him, his eyes filled with tears.
As he made his way back to the gates, he felt a wave of understanding fill his heart, and his sense of purpose renewed. His role was to be a servant to his people and he would never forget it.
When life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles
Tap, Tap, Tap
Goes the child against the door
Drip, Drip, Drip
Raindrops roll from coat to floor
Wag, Wag, Wag
Tail of the eager dog
Great, big, sigh
This is going to be a slog
Please, please, please
Says the one who can barely talk,
Even in this weather?
Looks like we’re going for a walk
Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh
Goes the Invasive wind
Splash, splash, splash
The child and dog grin
Thud, thud, thud
Throbs my beating heart
Smile, smile, smile
Happiness is an art.
Regardless of the weather and whether you’ve been home all day or just walked in, a walk is always welcome in our house, especially a walk with puddles. My little guy and the four-legged old lady both conquered the puppy dog eyes long ago. They have no regard for an imposition the wet walk may cause. However, often those two know better and after we’re home dried and snuggled back under a blanket, I too must succumb to the notion that the walk was a good idea.
For Bloganuary #2 it asks – What is a road trip you would love to take?
I would like to do the North Coast 500 in Scotland. I have visited Inverness a few years ago but I took unwell so the trip was cut short. In these Covid times, I think keeping travel closer to home is probably still advisable for the near future.
I love to travel and to be honest, I am never too bothered by the destination.
I have stayed in a beautiful boutique hotel with a stunning rooftop terrace where you could sip cocktails whilst admiring the Parthenon. I have stayed in a rather dodgy hotel in Malta which absolutely stank of smoke and in which I spent a good hour disinfecting the room from top to bottom as it just didn’t feel clean. I’ve spent a freezing cold winter weekend in Scotland in a Caravan with the wind blowing through the closed windows (it seemed a good idea at the time of booking).
I could go on, but you probably get the gist. The thing is, I have loved all of those trips. They all have fantastic memories for me and the bits that went a bit wrong, well, they tend to make funny stories to tell friends. I am just happy with any opportunity to go somewhere I haven’t been before or to see something I haven’t seen before.
Medicine is today’s FOWC. I was trying to figure out how to tie that in with travel when I came across this quote:
Reportedly, women who vacation twice a year are substantially less likely to suffer a heart attack than women who travel only once every few years. Men who skip an annual vacation are at a 20% higher risk of death overall, and that jumps to a 30% higher chance of dying from heart disease. Another, long-term study revealed that women in their middle years who travel more have less likelihood of having heart problems 20 years later, and the same study found travel also helped with blood pressure.
This is such a beautiful quote, I had to share it.
For visually challenged readers, the quote reads:
“Each time a person passes by you and you say ‘hello’, imagine that person turning into a candle. The more positivity, love and light you reflect, the more light is mirrored your way. Sharing beautiful hellos is the quickest way to earn spiritual brownie points. You should start seeing hellos as small declarations of faith. Every time you say hello to a stranger, your heart acknowledges over and over again that we are all family.”
Such a touching idea isn’t it? I was always taught to say hello, please and thank you. Especially to neighbours, shopkeepers, bus drivers etc, etc. A little kindness and politeness go a long way. Now that I have my own little one, I am trying to pass that message along. Just last week at a visit to the baker, he rather shyly perused the tempting selection before picking out a gingerbread man as his treat. His big blue eyes watched carefully as the biscuit was tucked carefully into the bag and handed to him. He turned and made his way to the door whilst I was paying, regularly at this point I would say to him, something along the lines of say thank you to the lady but whilst I was sorting my purse, completely unprompted we heard this tiny voice which echoed around the shop:
“Thank you, Lady”.
I think there was a collective awww around the shop from both the girls behind the counter and the queue which had formed behind us. The girl who had served us then told me that little gesture had made her day.
Have you had any hello’s, please or thank you’s lately that have made yours or someone else’s day that little bit brighter?