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Paperback Writer

by P. S. Gifford
A well accomplished writer, P.S. had so many stories to tell, we had to give him his own space. Enjoy this new style of blog meets fiction!

Friday, September 01, 2006

A tree of hope-Part two- An extraordinary succession of coincidences

By P.S.Gifford

(Written two years ago)

I was feeling a little glum yesterday afternoon as I arrived home and sat down at my computer. A personal matter that had been dragging on for several years was supposed to be favorable concluded that morning, however no such outcome arrived, and indeed it shall continue to drag on for several more months, perhaps years, and so will the stress accompanying it. So, when I sullenly sat down at my desk to routinely check my email, with a cup of hot tea with ample sugar and milk in front of me I had low expectations of the day. It has been my unfortunate life experience that if one thing goes awry, a short cycle of other set backs shall be destined to promptly follow. The old adage that trouble comes in threes surely seems to fit my world. Therefore you can imagine my delight and relief, when I noted that I had received an email from commented on one of my stories, The Tree of Hope. The story basically evolves around a childhood memory of mine from 1976 involving the planting of two rows of trees along my old school driveway. The anecdote reveals just how significant that tree has been to me over the years, and that it is still there taller and prouder than ever.

The writer of this letter happened to be a present day teacher at thievery same school who, astonished after doing an internet search with her young daughter, came across my modest little tale, written and typed six thousand miles away in California (Where I have called home for many years.) The charming letter further went on to explain that she had driven past those very rows of trees five days a week, for years and never for a moment considered them anything special, but now views them, and mine in particular, in an entirely new light. I re-read the email several times as I sat there, finishing my tea, and smiled. Today was going to be a wonderful day again…Just as everyday should be viewed.

Despite the fact that I have lived in California for over half of my life I still have and maintained many great friendships in my native England. One of those friends I have known since I was a bespectacled blonde haired five years old, whose name, coincidentally also is Paul. (being born in England in the mid sixties there was a very good chance of being called Paul or John, (although there weren't too many Ringo's¦) Paul, as so many of my friends did, has chosen to live just half mile or so from the house he was born and raised in. As he refused to move further than a few minutes walk to her house. He is now married to a remarkable lady and has two fine young children. Here begins one of those amazing coincidences that I have inferred as his wife, Toni, now works at Whitecrest primary school.

Now, naturally the first thing I did after receiving the email was forward it to her husband and a few minutes ago I received my reply. Toni, as is her daily habit, walked home for her lunch. She was met at the front door by her grinning husband who eagerly informed her of the peculiar turn of events. Apparently she could not wait to get back to school that afternoon and tease the person who had sent me that first email.

As Toni so nicely put it she was sat in the staff-room with her back to the window, the rest of the staff were chatting amongst themselves but she was quiet so she went over and said: "Have you figured it out yet?"

"Figured what out?" She apparently replied bewildered

"Which one it is!" Toni said trying desperately not to giggle.

"Which one is what?" She asked getting flustered.

"Which one is the tree of hope,” Toni responded, still trying to contain her increasing urge to laugh

Naturally she was completely blown away by the curious set of circumstances Toni proceeded to tell her. What is even more curious is that Toni and Paul’s oldest son is presently being taught by the very person who sent me the email.

I was also delighted to discover that one of my favorite childhood faculty members, Mrs. Miles, also recalls that fateful day, almost thirty years ago, and with amazing clarity. Apparently she recalls a tree was also planted in memory of one of the school faculty who had recently succumbed to cancer.

The final icing on the cake came at the end of the email, as the teacher asked my permission to share my little true story, word for word to the entire class assembly. You can imagine what my response was, a resounding yes!

It is wonderful to know that my special tree is going to be acknowledged by so many kids. Just remember when you are having a mundane and ordinary day that you never can suspect when something extraordinary may suddenly happen, it is just one of the many, many wonders of the universe.

The end.




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