A Mountain To Climb.
Little Daniel was very sad because Mr James who was a farmer had suddenly died . Daniel always spent nearly every day of his holidays helping the elderly man around his farm. Mr James had taught Daniel so very much about the different species of birds; the many types of beautiful wild flowers and so much more.
Daniel helped him milk the only remaining cow Tootsie; he had also watched Daisy the sheep giving birth to her twin lambs.
Mr James and Daniel often went fishing and Daniel would never forget the first tiem he caught a fish. "A very big Trout !!
Or " The biggest trout ever!!" is what Daniel was known to boast much to the delight of his family.
Mr James may have been elderly but to Daniel he had always been so young and to think of a time when he would no longer be around had never entered Daniel's mind.
Feeling so sad the young boy found himself walking towards Granny Hughes's house; which was like walking into a different world. Her furniture darker than at Daniel's home; Granny Hughes's front room was full of nick nacks from books to jigsaws or from papier mache dishes to big tubs full of buttons.
The fascinating wonders that little ones loved and Daniel was no exception !!
He knocked the heavy dark brown front door and she immediately opened the front door to Daniel giving him a hug;
"I know you are sad my dear boy because Mr James has died but it is not the end of the road for your friend my dear boy!!"
"Oh no not at all!".
Daniel looked up at her puzzled .He wasn't sure what she meant !!!
"Come let me give you a piece of your favourite cake and some pop ; then I shall tell you a little story."
"I've always thought that each person's life is like a mountain ;a mountain to climb." Granny Hughes began and Daniel sat in earnest !!
"To begin this journey we are in the valley where its warm and sunny; there are lots of meadows and little streams dotted with enchanting buttercups."
"A garden awash with Daffodils and Tulips beneath the smoky blue skies. "
As children we begin our climb. "
"Slowly the mountain gets a little steeper and the going not so easy but we must stop every now and again to look around ; the rough roads we have walked ." " To see the winding and meandering streams of life; the current sometimes difficult but we found the strength to flow through !!"
"As we look back on this journey of days gone by we realise that the spectacular view all around has made this special journey so worthwhile ."
"At the very top we see ice and snow glittering in the sunshine."
It is so beautiful ; at times almost beyond belief and this is why the summit is the greatest achievement of all ;however not the end of our wonderful journey!!"
"Oh now we continue to climb but the climb not as steep any more !!"
"Then comes a time when it is time for us to depart from this world and step onto a beautiful plateau surrounded by Apple Blossoms and under foot a soft carpet of daisies and buttercups."
"A time of self contentment; a shimmering paradise of belief and self worth ;this is where Mr James is now and even though we cannot see him he can see us and he will be so proud of you always Daniel ."
"So do not be sad ;Mr James would not want you to feel bad for too long.""He wouod want youy to carry n learning about the wonders of life!" "Lessons he had begun to teach you but there is so much more to learn."
Later on that week Daisy once again gave birth to another set of twin lambs and Daniel now was helping Mr James's son who had moved in to take over his father's farm.
Daniel lifted his face to the heavens " I know you are here Mr James and you are so proud of Daisy again."
A sweet scented breeze flowed through the nearby Apple Blossom tree and a beautiful bird which Daniel knew to be a Nuthatch looked on through the branches .
The Nut hatch had been a favourite bird of Mr James' ; Daniel knew that his friend was always close by and this brought him such a warm feeling of true comfort.
Many years later Daniel was busy planting the garden in front of his very own farmhouse which belonged to him and his wife Hetty.
Every afternoon at 3.30 pm a Nuthatch would always visit them and would stay a little while before cocking his head to one side and flying away chirping happily.
Daniel and Hetty were now very proud parents to their first baby ;a little girl who was only five days old !!However no matter how hard they tried they just could not agree on a name for her.
On one particular afternoon the Nuthatch visited as always but on this particular day came bearing a gift for them both.
This gift being a sprig of Apple Blossom which he gently laid at Daniel's feet.
Almost immediately it came to Daniel and rushed up to take Hetty into his arms saying;
" Blossom that's it ;why didn't we think of it before now!!"
"Shall we call our little one Blossom ?"
"Oh what a beautiful name Daniel !" Hetty was just as taken with the name.
That evening Hetty with little Blossom in her arms and Daniel sat out in their garden looking up toward the heavens; the proud parents silently thanked Mr James and promise faithfully that they would tell Blossom as she grew up all about Mr James and how the special Nuthatch helped to bring a very special message from him on the very day they chose her name.
Daniel never forgot the story Granny Hughes told him that day so very long ago now and he knew for sure that Mr James was indeed their guardian angel always looking down from his paradise way up high.
Many years later a Nuthatch continued to visit at precisely 3.30 pm and Blossom by now had a little brother called Jack!
Daniel and Hetty made sure that both their children knew all about Mr James and also loved the story that Granny Hughes had told Daniel all those years ago.
Enchanted and swaying in the Summer breeze was an Apple Blossom Tree and when the family had any important decisions to make they would sit on the bench by the tree and so very soon they would know which direction to move on in and the answer to their problem so clear.
If they listened very carefully they could hear Mr James and Granny Hughes whispering in comforting tones.
I wonder what we could hear if we sat in a special place ;maybe a garden or maybe a path in the country and listened carefully enough ?
Maybe we should try.