The Reading Room
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
The Worry Tree
Treasures From The Inbox
"Words are, of course, the most
powerful drug used by mankind."
Paresh, an Indian carpenter I once hired to help me
If you get email, you get
restore my old farmhouse had just finished a diffi-
- Rudyard Kipling
stuff. Sometimes it is
cult and hard first day on the job. A flat tyre on his
spam, sometimes it is a
lorry made him lose an hour of work, his electric
saw packed in, and now his ancient pickup truck
Here is one of those
refused to start. While I drove him home, Paresh
Looking through the window over the sink in this
gems worth sharing:
sat in stony, thoughtful silence.
kitchen of mine I watch the day slowly seep away.
On arriving, Paresh, in the way of all Indian
Suddenly, three mule deer materialize out of the
gentlefolk, invited me in to meet his family. As we
cedars. Surreal forms in the last breath of day.
A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In
walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at
Weatherman predicts sunshine and high 60's
one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a
a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with
tomorrow. Please let him be right. I need to escape
bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like some-
the confines of my home.
one had rolled clay balls and left them out in
When opening the door to his home, he under-
Next morning we are on our way. When husband
went an amazing transformation. His tanned face
the sun to bake. They didn't look like much,
ask where to, I hesitated not, "Bull Canyon". The
wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small
but they intrigued the man so he took the bag
earth in Bull Canyon has its own fragrance. Maybe
children and gave his wife a kiss.
out of the cave with him.
it is the mixture of soil, pinon, cedar and juniper,
After a cup of tea, he walked me to my car. We
maybe not. I only know that its fragrance has
As he strolled along the beach, he would
passed the tree and my curiosity got the better
drifted through my remembrance at different times
throw the clay balls one at a time out into
of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do
in my life over long past years.
the ocean as far as he could. He thought little
Our jeep climbs effortlessly up the mountain until
about it until he dropped one of the balls and
`Oh, that's my trouble tree,' Paresh replied. `I know
the canyon floor lay far below. Arriving at "my
it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beauti-
I can't help having troubles on the job, but one
spot" I watch as husband disappears up into the
ful, precious stone.
thing for sure, troubles don't belong in the house
trees leaving me alone in full solitude.
with my wife and the children. So I just hang them
Solitude however,, is not synonymous with silence.
on the tree every night when I come home. Then
As I walk along the rim a crow sings out "cawr,
in the morning I pick them up again. Funny thing
cawr, cawr". Breezes weaving through juniper
is', he smiled winningly, `when I come out in the
morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as
I walk across stone full of pot holes. Kneeling, I
many as I remember hanging up the night before.'
let my fingers touch the chips of flint glittering in
the rays of sun as it stands in the center of the day.
Who was the ancient one who sat here chipping
A little boy, about 10-years-old, was standing be-
out tools and projectile points? Someone's son or
fore a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peer-
father, what was he called?
Excited the man started breaking open the
ing through the window, and shivering with cold.
I sit in the shade of a cedar I Allow my mind to be
remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar
A lady approached the young boy and said, `My,
carried away in the tranquility of that place. At that
but you're in such deep thought staring in that
moment a rock squirrel scurries past on a journey
He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels
to somewhere. He does not see me. Spider grand-
in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it
`I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,' was
mother weaves her silver threads tying small bush
struck him. He had been on the beach a long
the boy's reply.
limbs together as I watch.
The lady took him by the hand, went into the store,
time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the
It is a good day for dreaming. I had someone ask
and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of
clay balls with their hidden treasure into the
how many dreams I'd spent lately. A few I guess,
socks for the boy.
but, I've dreamed another `this day', knowing it
ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars
She then asked if he could give her a basin of water
will come...it will come.
in treasure, he could have taken home tens of
and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She
thousands, but he just threw it away.
took the little fellow to the back part of the store
It's like that with people. We look at someone,
and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his
maybe even ourselves, and we see the external
little feet, and dried them with the towel. By this
clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the
time, the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing
outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling
a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a
so we discount it. We see that person as less
pair of shoes.
She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave
important than someone more beautiful or
them to him.. She patted him on the head and said,
stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have
`No doubt, you will be more comfortable now.'
not taken the time to find the treasure hidden
As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her
inside that person by God.
by the hand, and looking up into her face, with
There is a treasure in each one of us. If we take
tears in his eyes, asked her, `Are you God's wife?'
the time to get to know that person, and if we
ask God to show us that person the way He
sees them, then the clay begins to peel away
"The robbed that smiles, steals
and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.
something from the thief."
- William Shakespeare
"My grandmother wanted me to
have an education, so she kept me
"Is a smile a question? Or is it
out of school."
- Margaret Mead
- Lee Smith