Still I Rise…

One child, a boy of nine years or so climbs up the old magnolia tree. Concentrated he looks and when finally he reaches the top he looks proud. So proud that he rocks and shakes the branches till white snowflake like magnolia blossoms fall onto the ground. A group of three girls passes by, maybe ten or eleven years old they are. They closely walk arm in arm, whispering and giggling. A few minutes later they drop their bags under the tree, still exchanging  secrets. For the hero in the treetop they have no eye left. Two, new girls appear on the scene. They are greeted frantically by the girls under the tree. A kiss here and a kiss there, a big hug then a second and a third. You would think they did not see each other for long and desperate years. The boy in the treetop still remains invisible for them. The girls start to brush each other’s hair. This seems to be a task of highest importance. Concentrated they are, stern looking, working with both ambition and endurance. Unseen still the boy climbs higher, climbs out of the sight of the still, young leaves and fresh, just green- grown branches up to the topmost part of the tree. Over the whole village, the boy can now look, he might even see the lake a few kilometers far away, and maybe the voices of the girls, who now are dancing to the music from their iPods disappear. An adventurer of his kind of course listens to other things as to a silly pop song. It might be the case that he spots a group of friends over there, that he now wants to show that its him, who made it up to the tree- top. This needs admiration and attention. Francis Drake once got a medal from Queen Elizabeth I herself, for raiding up Spanish ships and plundering, so at least the group of boys approaching with mountain-bikes and skate- boards should notice. Especially the boy with the red, most expensive and very fast looking bike, who even while only ten looks already like the most cool person ever born should learn something about true adventurism and the spirit of exploration. Hey, shouts the boy from above, and then a second and a third time, „hey, it’s me up there.“ Finally the group of boys and the girls notice him and stare into the tree to make out their friend among all the white-creamy leaves. But then things start to get terribly wrong. If the boy let loose of a branch, while making himself known or the branch he was standing upon was brittle after the long winter or just slippery from last nights rain, I am unable to tell you and maybe he himself does not know. Then it is only a matter of seconds, a mighty thundering, a cry, shaking branches, a tree moving heavily and a hero, an adventurer rushes down and lies on the ground, his nose bleeding. After a few seconds of astonishment, the girls shriek and jump away, but when the boy after a minute or two gets back on his feet, he can read their verdict very clearly. No admiration, not at all, pity in the best case, he sees in their eyes, in other words total defeat. The boy with the red mountain bike, he himself surprised by the quite spectacular fall, starts to laugh out loudly. Loser, he shouts and the other ones join the chorus. Then they quickly pick up their bikes and race away. The girls are following, they have better things to do anyway. Alone and silent, without looking up again, the hero ashamed limbs away. And so he can not hear me telling him that one day, he will be back, not on the top of a tree maybe, but one day, he will leave them all behind, standing on top of Mount Everest, while the boy with the red bike sits in a damp office and all the girl’s hearts will beat just for him. But of course in the moment this does not help much.

Today, many, many years ago William Shakespeare was born and what do we know, maybe he fell down one day as well and remembered the laughing faces and created the many heroes of different kind we all know. Today as well is World Book’s day and to celebrate books always means to celebrate all those heroes and heroines we meet between the pages. And I am convinced so many new heroes might be discovered by you and me and everyone of us. One most extraordinary book „Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither“ I want to give away today. It was written by a most fantastic Irish writer Sara Baume. What the Irish Times thinks about the book you can read here.

A book perfectly to read underneath a tree or if you are brave- hearted enough high up in his top. While I am curious as an owl that lives in the tree-trunk of the most massive and old trees, I would ask you to let me know in the comments which is your most favorite, most beloved or most pitied hero you came across in a book till the 28. of April 2015. Sometimes it is as simple as this.

7 thoughts on “Still I Rise…

  1. Wonderful post, Read On. My current favorite hero and heroine (I find they change as I discover new books like I intend to discover Spill Simmer, Falter, Wither –what a wonderful title–by Sara Baume) are the German orphan with a staggering intellect and ability and the young blind girl with a love of literature in the incredible book All the Light We Cannot See. Have you read it?

  2. Dear A. and Aunt Beulah, it would be most silly to decide between the two of you, who should get the book, so I will send it to both of you. Thanks for the most interesting reading recommendations. Please send me a mail with your address or p.o box : readonmydear.readon (at ) and I am most happy to ship it to you.

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