Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Feathers on the way
‘A young man wants to see you, Ernesto’.


I wonder if today is going to be one of those days when every twenty minutes someone calls at reception for me and asks for a food voucher. As if she can read my mind, Jane added,
‘Ernesto it is not about a food voucher’.

‘Ok, I will be there in a minute’.

I greeted a young man and took him to a room where we could have a private conversation.
‘I remember you. I have seen you before.’
‘Yes, I came here few months ago to enquire what I needed to do to be baptised.’
‘That is right, I remember, so what happened?’
‘You never contact me.’
‘Mmm... that’s very strange.’
‘Never mind, it was for the best.’

Then he told me how God has been doing amazing things in his life, all the time deepening his faith.
‘I also want to apologise to you.’
‘Because, I was very angry with you... I felt that you did not regard my story of conversion. Anyway, I’m not angry any more. God had showed me something amazing.’

He told me this story:

‘A couple of days ago I felt that God was asking me to leave the house and I did.’ ‘Where do you want to take me Lord?’ he had said, and for a while God said nothing; he thought that maybe he was just imagining everything. Then he realised there were fathers on the floor like in a line. He followed them and to his surprise, it led him to the church. He didn’t want to come to the church, but God had other ideas. He went to the chapel and there God spoke to him again. He said God had told him things about me and he felt terrible, as he had been angry with me all this time. After awhile he felt a profound presence of God.

‘I came to apologise’, the young man said.

We chatted for a while about God manifestations and I told him what one of my previous parishioners used to say to me each time she found feathers: that ‘Angels have been here’.

‘Can I be baptized?’ Certainly, and this time I will make sure you are.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

It is done. This time we could not save him. It had to be cut. Insurance reasons, they told us. On Friday, 3rd December, I stand at our French doors and witness the ritual. The music we play understands the mood, a symphony from the new world, Hanaq pachap kusikuynin.

His body is stripped away, his open arms broken, mutilated. This old eucalyptus is resigned to its fate and it is Holy Friday in my heart, not Advent.

This old friend welcomed us when we arrived to this new city. Eucalyptus was the tree my father loved so much, to us, a reminder of his soul. And on this tree we wrote our initials in a heart.

As Marie collects some branches for Christmas flowers, frantically Paquito bites and chews a branch as if he is trying to wake up the fallen guardian. It is in vain, life has gone. It is a funeral of sorts, a scattering of branches and memories from our garden.

Goodbye my friend. You will be born again in other trees. In a few weeks time a new friend will be planted in his place. It will be a Rowan Tree.

A Tree from Wales.

" Ese hombre es como un arbol..."

Yo dibuje arboles
y fui diestro
solo los contemplo

He visto arboles
que crecen
y nadie lo nota
que mueren
y nadie lo sabe

He visto arboles
de todo tiempo
grandes y pequeños
fragiles y fuertes
sabios y necios

He visto arboles
luchar por su vida
enfrentar al viento
resistir la lluvia
soportar el sol

He visto arboles
llorar desnudos
bajo la luz de la luna

He visto arboles
ahora lo recuerdo
morir arrancados
de su suelo

Con carboncillo y lapiz
dibuje muchos arboles
tambien con tinta y color
pero en ninguno
deje grabado
el recuerdo
de un amor

Quiero morir
contemplando un arbol
quiero morir
como un arbol

a ponerme
de pie...