Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Chillax (04/03/14)
TITLE: Rocking Chair Wisdom
By George Parler
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It was another one of those days, when everything was making its demands all at once. It seemed there just weren’t enough hours in a day.
I turned my truck around and backtracked to Mr. Jack’s home. I knew I was forgetting something. I had told him that I would stop by for a cup of coffee that morning and there wasn’t much morning left. I never liked telling someone something and not doing it.
I pulled into the long driveway. He had a sensor by the road, which triggered a tone alarm in his house when someone turned into his driveway. He may have been in his eighties, but he was still sharp.
When I parked, he was already sitting on the porch in his rocker.
“Morning, Mr. Jack.” I closed my car door.
“Come on and have seat, John. Elsie will be here in a minute with a cup of coffee.” He adjusted the position of the empty rocking chair. “What’s going on with you?”
“Just the usual – Running around like a chicken with my tail feathers on fire. That’s the way it is sometimes. At least it is today.” I settled into the inviting rocker.”
“Here’s your coffee, John Martin. You drink yours black. Right?” Elsie, set the coffee tray on the table near me. Then she lightly slapped me on my shoulder.
“Ow! What did I do?” I laughed.
“Nothing. Just behave and drink your coffee before it gets cold.”
“Yes, ma’am.” I blew the steam rising from my cup. “Mr. Jack, how in the world have you put up with this woman for over sixty years?”
“I’m going leave you men to it. I’m missing my TV show. Bye, John Martin.” She waved as she went back inside the house.
We rocked for several minutes, sipping on our coffee, with neither of us saying a word. I could hear the light breeze in the trees across the yard. Rocking in the shade of that front porch, I felt the tension between my shoulders begin to melt away. I sighed and broke the tranquil silence. “What have you got going on, Mr. Jack?”
“I’m thinking about folks in a hurry. Lately everybody seems to be in a hurry. If they’re not in a hurry, they’re worrying why everybody else is not in a hurry. Hurry and worry, that’s all they know.”
“Well, Mr. Jack, some days you’ve got to run a little faster just to keep up.”
He turned his head to face me, as if to study me for a moment. Then he got up and turned his chair around, facing the opposite direction. “Get up and turn your chair around like mine.”
I did as he requested and sat back down.
He pointed to his left. “That is east.” He pointed to his right. “My barn is due west. Are you with me?”
“Yes, sir. Got it.”
“Now as long as I have been living here, the sun has rose behind those pines in the east and went across the sky and set somewhere behind my barn. Still with me?”
“I’m with you.”
“Now we know the sun is not going across the sky. It’s the rotation of the earth going this way. Right?” He point both hands to his left.
“Yep. That’s right.” I began to wonder where he was going with this.
“You see that post?” He pointed to post in front of me that was holding up the porch.
I nodded my head.
“If you were to get on the east side of that post and push as hard as you possibly could, you’re not going to slowdown the speed of the sun going across the sky. Likewise, if you were to get on the west side of that post and push as hard as you possibly could, you’re not going to make it go across the sky any faster. Right?”
“In that case, if you can’t change anything, you might just as well sit in this rocker and enjoy the ride.”
With that, he picked up his cup of coffee, settled back into his chair and started rocking. “You’re coffee is getting cold, John.”
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