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The Tears Of A Child: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on December 31, 2013

High on a Mountaintop

We begin to see, therefore, the importance of selecting our environment with the greatest of care, because environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our minds is extracted.

Napoleon Hill

The little child sits by the stream, looking out on the lush, green valley before her. Sadness engulfs her, weighing down upon her as though a physical weight of enormous proportions. Dressed in bib overalls and sneakers, a sweatshirt to stave off the early morning chill, she is a lovely child with cherubic face, ponytails and a slight build. Her nose is Pixie-ish, her lips full and her eyes, such wide-expressive eyes, see distortions through the forming tears.

A single drop leaves her eye, slips from the corner and begins a slow, gravitational flow along her cheek, a cheek pink from the air’s bite. The tear reaches her chin and hovers there for seconds before dropping into the flowing water, the water following its own gravitational flow towards the pastures below.

Over gravel and stones it travels, around sandbars, ricocheting along the curved banks, increasing in speed, forging its way along a liquid highway formed by millions of years. The child, cried-out and late for breakfast, rises from her fir stump and trudges home.

The tear continues its journey.

The journey begins at a little stream
The journey begins at a little stream | Source

Through the Watershed

The angle of descent decreases now as farmland comes into view. The great farms line the banks of the widening waterway; farm animals graze with steam rising from their flanks, defecating as Nature would have them do, another flow adding to the flow, mixing with the pesticides and tractor fluids and the single tear.

The forests once lined the watershed, but now only clear-cuts and eroding banks can be seen, muddy cakes calving off to further distort Nature’s life-giving elixir. Stumps and limbs are all that remain of the old-growth majesty, a majesty never witnessed by the little girl who now eats her oat bran and toast high above the rape and pillaging of the landscape.

Now a river, the former stream sweeps along a wide bend and approaches the outskirts of the great city. A smattering of bottles, cans and plastics now dot the banks, and culverts dispense their own polluted mixtures as the tear, once as clear and pure as the child who cried it, takes on the gray hue of the city in view.

Passing now the factories, billowing smokestacks and waste water, and the machine shops, and the salvage yards and all other signs of industrial progress, the teardrop presses on and oddly grows in size as though sadness has reproduction capabilities. Sludge and soot, arsenic and acetone, all manner of chemical combinations taking what was once unsullied and rendering it unrecognizable, a compound that in no way resembles the natural processes.

Becoming a river, it flows through the valley
Becoming a river, it flows through the valley | Source

Hail the Great City

Industrialized madness is what it is, hundreds of vehicles scattering to and fro in the name of commerce, each adding to the killing field that bears slight resemblance to the once clear mountain stream. The tear cannot see on this portion of the journey, so polluted are the waters, as bloated fish drift with the current and the shoreline predators feed upon the carcasses. Boys and their fathers fish from the shoreline, wading through the discarded detritus of humanity to find a rare, unsullied spot to sit and cast a bobber, an act of futility for sure for the great schools of fish are no more, and their decay becomes part of the new, ever-flowing compound of death.

Thousands of homes stretch out from the commerce center, families doing what families do, using and discarding, wasting and destroying, all in the name of convenience with nary a thought to the damage perpetrated upon the water supply. And the toilets flush and the garbage disposals churn, the sprinklers sprinkle and the fertilizers are spread, adding to the mix, adding to the destruction, adding to the inevitability of it all, as the little girl prepares for school, eager to learn more from her wise elders, all contributors to the problem though surely they would deny it.

Past the great city it flows
Past the great city it flows | Source

Rushing Onward

The great city is left behind, and the tear now slows down as it approaches the shallowness of the estuary before dumping into the broad, expansive gulf. There it joins with millions of other tears, deposited by other rivers near and far, all murky distortions of what they once were.

And the sun beats down on this broad expanse of liquid, and the liquid floats skyward where it joins with other invisible liquids, and Nature does its thing to form clouds, drifting across the land, cooling and forming droplets too heavy for the sky. And they rain down upon the Earth, and the reservoirs fill, and the treatment centers treat, and the filters filter, a never-ending process as old as mankind.

Once filtered and treated the teardrops flow through the great pipelines, spreading out like tentacles of some 50’s horror movie monster, slithering into the homes of millions, awaiting the turn of a handle and the release from the faucets, and there the little girl will fill her glass and drink the coolness. Satiated, she will kiss her mother and father goodnight, and climb under the covers, and she will dream of the wonders of a life yet lived.

To its final destination
To its final destination | Source

And a New Day Dawns

In the morning the little child will wake early, as is her nature, and pull on her boots and wrap herself tightly in her heavy coat, and make her way to that hillside and her morning companion, the life-giving stream, where she will sit upon its banks and look down upon the valley. She wants desperately to believe; she wants desperately to embrace hope, but the sadness returns and the tears form once again, and they slide down that downy cheek, hesitate once more on her lovely chin, and drop into the stream.

So it was. So it is. So it shall be. Millions of wishful children; billions of tears born from a sadness they cannot define or give explanation for; each looking upon a present, envisioning a future, and knowing instinctively that the life of dreams in no way resembles the life of reality, for wishing does not make it so, and the road to hell is lined with good intentions.

Are you willing to make a difference?

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How Will It End?

The little child does not know. She senses foreboding but cannot express it with words. She grows into her teens, and then adulthood, and eventually she has a child of her own, a lovely child with cherubic face, Pixie nose, full lips and wide, expressive eyes, and those eyes see the same distortions that her mother once saw sitting under the shade of the elms alongside that flowing source of life.

And that child rushes home with tear-stained cheeks and hugs her mother and tells her of her thoughts, and the mother weeps in remembrance of days she spent in wistful silence, and she kisses her child and whispers words of comfort, words of comfort for a child who represents a new generation, hopefully a wiser generation, a more compassionate generation, a more loving generation.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"
Robert Redford

Making a difference one person at a time
Making a difference one person at a time | Source

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Nadine. I appreciate your very kind words.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Very well written with great feeling. You are a very talented writer Billy. Robert Redford said it all. I do have faith in the human race. One day...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sid!

    • profile image

      sid 3 years ago

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I sure hope that child hurries up and makes an appearance. :) Thank you!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It is said that the apple never falls from the tree. One day, one child will make a difference, and be that leader that all hope for.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, I believe that with all my heart...each one of us can make a difference. Now we have to convince several hundred million people of that fact.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna and it's nice to have you back with us. This one was special to me as you might have guessed. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      We can each change the world by focusing on our little corner, focusing on what we can do. Pick up the piece of trash you see (or a bag full), reduce/reuse/recycle, treat others kindly ... . Good thoughts you express here as we begin anew.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Let us hope and pray that we have inspired the next generation to restore our natural resources. I love your story and the ending is a ray of hope.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good day to you Michael my friend and thank you for another deeply reflective comment. Yes, I believe you are right about the curse....to ensure a better future we must do our part to remove the damage. We can only hope that we will learn this lesson soon.

      I hope you are having a wonderful day my friend. It is foggy and chilly here but certainly mild compared to the weather your way.

      blessings always

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hello Bill again.

      To come this close to a child's tears understanding reveals a gifted writer's willingness to share his charisma . What a display of reality, perhaps relentlessness of man- made curse-provoked-activities upon our present "home planet Earth".

      According to my understanding, the results of a " curse" brought knowingly upon mankind- man- himself by word and deed is obligated by himself to remove ; otherwise the " Hope " that ensures a better future is going to interfere by fulfilling the promise of a " new heavens and a new earth where righteousness will be at home. "

      Voting up and awesome .

      Have a great day my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE; this was one of my favorites.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Happy New Year! A beautifully written hub with lots of thought here and you always know how to get your reader's attention.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Suhail!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. It feels good to try and create something special and then have other writes affirm it.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      It's my honour, Bill. Thank you very much indeed.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very effective, thought provoking and well written article about a very sad situation. Thank you for creating it, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suhail, one of your articles inspired this so I thank you. I know how much you love nature so my friend, this is dedicated to you. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, your words are music to my ears. Thank you so much. I wanted it to be sadly beautiful and it looks like I hit the mark. Blessings to you always.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Beautiful, awesome and useful!

      Bill, you brought me out from despair. Just two hours ago, I was enjoying my hike with K2 in -4 F, taking pictures as I routinely do. However, for some odd reason, I came home hopeless as I see us humans losing our heritage rapidly in the name of development. But the analogy in your article has given me hope. It is all about one person taking a practical baby step to do something for our next generation.

      Someone has said it so beautifully, "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."

      Thank you for writing such an absorbing article on a critical subject.

      I wish you a very happy new year.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing i've had the privilege of reading in a long time. I could see the little girl sitting by the water, tear running down her cheek. Your message, so important. Thank you Bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok; I wanted this one to be special.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Another amazing, thought-provoking hub, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, thank you so much for that glowing praise. This one was special to me; it's nice to know others felt the same way. Thank you and Happy New Year to you.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Bill; I’ve shed those same tears and have been that child who still lives within me, today. Every day, I pray that my new granddaughter won’t have to experience this as well. Hope spurs us into action, “one person at a time.” This analogy is superbly written, Bill with inescapable imagery…profound, uncompromising, and thought-provoking. Beautiful work! Voted up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, thank you very much. I appreciate you sharing this message about the environment. Happy New Year to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Ann and Happy New Year. Well, fog is the order of the day here in Olympia. Boring but mild.

      Thank you so much. I do have hope for future generations. I just wish they would hurry up and make some major changes. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I accept your high praise and I thank you. I wanted this to be special as the subject is special to me. Happy New Year to you my friend.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Billy I'm so very impressed by the well written descriptive, emotional sensitivity of the story of the little girls teardrop. Very inspiring as well, as a writer I mean. I have to simply share this on our Kima Global author Facebook group. Thank you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      This is a beautiful concept; sad & thought provoking. Yes, what goes around comes around; I just hope we learn something on the way. I know my grandchildren are more aware of the beauties of the world and being tolerant to one another. I think they might grow up to take care of things better but that's just a small tear in the ocean. However, as you say, it takes each one to do his/her small part and we could do a better job.

      We saw in the new year and it starts with a very wet and windy day in Somerset. We do get lovely sunny crisp days sometimes but not this 1st Jan!

      Hope your week is good. Ann

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, protecting the environment is one of my most passionate issues, and I love this hub describing the remarkable journey of a single child's tear. Of all your great hubs, this is by far my favourite. Everyone needs to read this, from Governments and Big Business CEO's down. I also love the quote by Robert Redford. Voted up, Happy New Year.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy New Year to you, Faith, and I share your belief that better times are ahead of us. Blessings to you always.

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Lovely wish for the new generation and a new year upon us. I do think the younger generation do care and will actually take action to try to undo what we have destroyed. Whether it is done through new technology or what, I will always have hope for a better tomorrow and future for our younger generation. Happy New Year with many new blessings and much love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you PS and I hope 2014 brings you moments of happiness and peace. Sending hugs your way and a sincere thank you for your friendship.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Very moving and so prophetic, bill.

      Our planet is so fragile and it is up to all of us to see to it that the beauty that abounds is for each new child to embrace and enjoy.

      Angels are on the way to you today ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! This is the type of writing I love to do, and it is very nice to have it appreciated. Happy New Year to you my friend.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Masterful! Having a child's tear expose our unconcern. A very hopeful ending to which I add my Amen.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joelle, we share that hope for sure. Perhaps our children will be wiser than we were. Happy New Year to you and yours my friend and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha! You have been with me for quite some time so when you say something like that it means a lot to me. Have a great day and Happy New Year to you.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, thank you! It's nice to know that people recognize when a little extra effort has been made. Happy New Year to you my friend.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Beautiful and powerful hub, Bill! Lets hope that we will have a new and wiser generation with more compassion and that will continue for generation to come after that. We have that special gift to share all together, a beautiful Earth. I really hope in the bottom of my heart that it will stay beautiful with wiser generations, who can take care of it and share it more equally.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, this is a very touching, poignant method of bringing awareness to what we are doing to our water and all the life that depends on it. I will link back to this when I write a blog post about this very issue.

      Awesome message and very awesome way of getting it across!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      This hub is beautifully written, I feel like you spent alot of time constructing your sentences and a lot of thought in your organization. Thank you is a great hub and an educational one too.. Jamie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Brandi. I'm so happy you enjoyed this. Happy New Year to you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, that is the highest compliment you could pay me, that I am improving in my craft. Thank you for those words, thank you for your friendship and Happy New Year to you.

      bill

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Very well-written and thought-provoking. The earth cries out to its inhabitants.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      A great thought provoking article. Your wording engages the reader and

      we eagerly follow the trek from tear to sewer.

      Bill, you are not only teaching us, but you have advanced in your writing

      to a skill far above your last book. Someone has been taking their own advice, and they are turning out splendid articles.

      Happy New Year, my friend!

      My best to Bev,

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I am humbled by your praise. Thank you so much. I have to let the poet loose occasionally or he gets a bit upset with me. :)

      Blessings to you my Welsh friend, and may 2014 bring you much happiness and success.

      love always

      billy

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Oh Billy what can I say but this was a beautifully and at the same time sobering hub. The poet in you came to the fore here as I felt the little girl's wonder; sadness and confusion lime so many of us not understanding the way of the world.

      Then the finale touched me as again I felt another little girl repeating her mother's footsteps and echoing the thoughts and feelings just as her mother did !!!

      However as bleak as life can sometimes be we must never lose faith ;never lose hope!!There are not enough buttons here to do this gem justice Billy but I will use the ones I can.

      Lots of love my dear friend all the way from my little corner of wales and of course a Happy New Year.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, this is my home. :) don't you want me here anymore?

      Thank you my dear friend and Happy New Year to you and your family. Thank you!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Don't know what you are doing here with the rest of us Bill...such a talent. Thank you for showing us so very much and giving us hope.

      Happy New Year!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Jo! You are appreciated by me. :) Happy New Year dear friend. I hope you don't have to work tonight.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      A new generation, new hopes and another chance to get it right. A perfect wish for the new year, powerful and beautifully written. My best to you and Bev for the New Year.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, it is always nice to see you. Thank you for stopping by my friend and Happy New Year to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Randi, and if impactful is not a word it should be. :) Happy New Year to you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, thank you my dear. Happy New Year to you and yours and of course, love always.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine and Happy New Year to you and that lovely family.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eric. Just something to think about as we usher in 2014. Happy New Year my friend.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 3 years ago from Finland

      This is really something to think about. It makes me think about what I should show my children and teach them about the world. It was beautifully written. Happy New Year to you Bill and Bev!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Wow! Impactful (is that a word?!) Loved the analogy! Thank you, Bill! Happy and Healthy New Year to you!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Sensitive, compelling and somber, dear Bill...thank you for keeping hope alive in your every word.

      Happy, healthy and prosperous 2014 to you and Bev. Love, Maria

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Beautiful Bill and the ending totally made me smile thinking of this from the viewpoint of a mother. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year, too!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Intriguing and thought provoking for sure. Great pics too!