I had my Thursday trip to Dunfermline yesterday. Normally I put in you AirPods and listen to some music as I read a chapter of my book for the duration of the journey. I am always aware that there are others on the bus who do not wish to be inflicted with second hand music, so I keep the volume at a reasonable level that only I can hear.
Yesterday this was very difficult. A young man who had got on the bus at the same place as me sat right opposite me. he immediately got out his phone and began phoning one friend after another. Each conversation was conducted full volume so every cuss and swear word was heard even above my music.
I was aware that he was going to the same destination as me having heard him purchase his ticket. So I just accepted this was not to be my usual relaxed journey.
Not far from my destination silence fell. I looked across to see he was now sound asleep and gently snoring. As the bus reached the stop he was still sound asleep and looking very comfortable. How tempted I was just to leave him until he awoke in Glasgow, but I did not I awoke him.
He thanked me with yet another swear word in the sentence of thanks, but he did at least say thanks.
A little tale.
Johnny the Lizard lived between some rocks out in the country. Like all lizards he loved to quietly sunbathe, laid out on some flat stone. He felt so relaxed doing so, that more than once he had fallen asleep, and that’s exactly what happened on the day he lost his tail: some kids caught him, and Johnny could only escape by losing his tail and running to hide.
Shocked and frightened, he listened to how the children laughed on seeing his tail continued moving about, even though it was no longer attached to his body. After a while they threw the tail away.
When the children had gone, Johnny started looking everywhere for his tail, wanting to reattach it to its rightful place. However, the countryside was very big, and as much as he searched for it, Johnny could find no sign of his tail. He left everything else in his life, devoting himself to the search. He forgot about his home, his possessions, his friends. Days and months passed, and Johnny kept looking, asking everyone he met whether they had seen his tail.
One day, someone he asked surprisedly replied, "Why do you need two tails?"
Johnny turned and saw that after so much time spent searching he had grown a new tail. What’s more, his new tail looked stronger and better than his old tail. Seeing this, he realised how silly it had been to dedicate so much time to a problem for which there was no solution. Johnny turned back and headed for home.
On his way home he found his old tail at the side of the way. It was dry and dusty, and looked really bad. However, Johnny, having spent so much time looking for it, was happy to find it, and he picked it up and resumed his journey. Soon he met a frog. The frog, surprised, asked Johnny:
“Why are you carrying such a horrible old tail when you already have such a lovely tail of your own?”
”Because I spent months looking for it,” replied Johnny.
”You really spent months looking for something so ugly and dirty?” said the frog. ”Well,”Johnny explained, “previously it wasn’t as ugly as this.”
”Hmm, but now it is, wouldn’t you agree?... How strange you lizards are!” said the frog before jumping off into the distance.
The frog was right. Johnny still thought of his tail as though it was the same tail he used to have, but in reality it was now disgusting.
Now Johnny understood, so he decided to drop his old tail there, leaving with it all his past worries.
As he continued his journey all he took with him were thoughts of the future.
I hope the lad on the bus continued his journey content he had reached his destination safely. Sometimes we need to keep our eye on the future and not always looking to the past.
Have a marvellous day.