Life is short

I was rooting through a bundle of old papers this past weekend, getting them ready to be shredded before I lugged them off to our burn barrel. I had quite an accumulation, as I have the tendency to keep things, and the weather has been cold, nasty, windy, and much too risky to do any burning.

There was not too much sorting to do, as most of it was just simply junk. But while doing so, I came across a long ago letter that was sent to me from one of my longtime avid readers. In it was a photocopied clipping from a newspaper that read like this:

Life is too short and friends are few… One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what could be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yeah,” said the son.

“So tell me. What did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us and they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added. “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

I personally have always been proud that I grew up on a farm, but the fact is, I never really knew what I was missing, while living urban, until I returned to the country. I now see the stars at night, the sunrise in the morning, and sunset at night. I feel the gentle breezes in the summer and hear the pitter-patter of rain on the roof.

I feel the dew on the grass in the morning, I see and hear the birds sing, and the bees buzzing through the flowers. I see the wild bunnies hopping playfully across our lawn at dawn and I hear the tree toads croaking at our door. I could go on forever.

This leaves me no wonder in my mind why the youth of today have difficulty getting a grasp on life.

Take care, ‘cause we care.



Barrie Hopkins