Archive for nature

Dirty Hairy Beast

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2012 by javedbabar

Sami had witnessed many strange things with Guru Baba, his holy bossman, but tonight had beaten them all. He had been given the day off so that he could “work all night”, a night which involved walking around a boggy field, looking at the moon.

Guru Baba asked him, “Do you like animals? Yes, you do? But you don’t have any pets. You said that you had some when you were a child, but never since then. Why is that?”

“I had a goldfish first, then a tropical snail, then an iguana, and a blue budgie called Neelum, and a striped cat, Mr. Tiger, then a poodle named Biswas. Biswas bit me and my parents had him put down. After that I became scared of dogs, and most other animals with sharp teeth and claws.”

Guru Baba said, “Ahhh…” and then nothing more.

They looked at the moon. It was getting low and had acquired a red hue, the colour of bloody water. It made Sami feel sick; it seemed to be swirling.

“Are you scared of people too? They can be just as dangerous as animals.”

“Well, I guess if I met a murderer, I would be scared. But generally, no. It is animals’ teeth that frighten me really. I think they’re going to bite me.”

Guru Baba opened his mouth wide. His teeth seemed sharper than before. Was Sami’s mind playing tricks now?

“Who are you most scared of?” said Guru Baba. “Animals or humans?”

Sami noticed that Guru Baba’s eyebrows seemed very close together. His nails were sharp, and his ears low-set. He’d always sported a full beard, but now his cheeks and forehead seemed hairy too.

Sami saw movement in the forest beyond the field. He looked at the trees carefully, but couldn’t make out anything unusual. Then there was movement again. He saw a dark shape, and then another one, and then many more.

Sami became pale and said, “Guru Baba, I’m scared. There are animals moving in the forest around us. Can you see them? I think they could be cougars. They might attack us.” Lucerne was famous for its wildlife. Bears, coyotes, cougars and bald eagles lived in the forests and mountains around.

“It is not cougars, it is wolves. There are many around here. They gather at full moons.”

Sami saw that Guru Baba’s eyes were bright yellow.

He stood transfixed by his gaze.

Was he a shape-shifter or some sort of demon?

Sami tried to scream but nothing came out.

He tried to move but his feet remained rooted in the boggy field.

Then he growled and broke free.

Sami ran with a swinging stride and howled at the moon.

Each village has its traditions. Every harvest moon, Lucerne ran amok with werewolves. It was nothing to get upset about.

Litterbug

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , on June 4, 2012 by javedbabar

After work Sophie often went for a stroll in the Botanical Garden. The West Coast flora belonged there of course, but the Amazonian Rainforest, Egyptian Oasis, and Babylonian Hanging Gardens had been nurtured by the Zoological Society of Lucerne. Still, once they were established, they would develop interrelated environmental factors and form a functioning ecosystem. She loved pristine nature, even if it was in the wrong place.

Nature wasn’t always pretty, she knew, but it was perfectly self-regulating. A thin layer of gases, held in place by gravity, were the key active factor sustaining the planetary ecosystem. They allowed life on earth. The price of that life was the occasional hurricane, tornado, tsunami, and flood (in addition to geological effects like earthquakes and volcanic explosions), but beneficial atmospheric effects outweighed harmful ones. Life hung in a fine balance though; living organisms interacted with other elements in local environments, and must be careful not to overwhelm them.

Sophie noticed a man standing on the main path ahead of her. He was fumbling in all his pockets for something, which he found in his left hand trouser pocket. He withdrew a packet of cigarettes, unwrapped the cellophane, and threw it on the floor. He flipped the lid off the pack, withdrew a cigarette, flicked his lighter, lit up and began puffing.

Sophie couldn’t stop herself – she ran right towards him and said, “Excuse me; I think you’ve dropped something.”

The man had seen her running towards him, and rather than smile – either innocently or with embarrassment – he had stared at her breasts bouncing. He said, “No I haven’t.”

Yes you have,” said Sophie insistently. “You’ve dropped something.”

“I don’t think so,” said the man and turned away, and took a long draw of his cigarette.

“I saw you unwrap your cigarettes and throw the plastic covering on the ground.”

The man turned to face her. “So what? It’s not your business. If you don’t like it, why don’t you pick it up?”

Sophie didn’t back down. He saw she was fuming and tried another tack. “It’s biodegradable. I think it says on the…”

Here was a chance to engage further; he was stepping back; they could negotiate; end things nicely together.

Sophie’s confidence was due to her being a practitioner of One-Do, a rediscovered martial art. It integrated all other styles into a higher level of performance. She was scared of no one, not even if they held a weapon. The mind of a One-Do master triumphed over physical threats every time.

However Sophie was not yet a master. Her one year of training had made her a next-level novice. There was no real hierarchy in One-Do. Just levels and next levels.

“Throwing litter is disgusting!” she shouted. “It ruins the environment. You’re disgusting! Some people improve the places they visit. You make them worse. You’re a disgusting person!” She stormed off before she’d have to hit him. The man was bemused by her ferocity but continued smoking.

The Botanical Garden’s creator, known as The Gardener, had observed these events from the far end of the main path. He called his pupil Sophie over, and said, “Watch this.” He whispered something to the small silver monkey on his left shoulder, and it jumped up into the trees.

A moment later, the disgusting man was hit by a banana, then a coconut, and then a heavy palm frond fell right on his head. His cigarette and his life were extinguished. It was a natural occurrence. It seemed inevitable. This is the way of One-Do.

Nice Views

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, World Myths with tags , , , , , , on April 17, 2012 by javedbabar

It was a gorgeous day and the clients of Open Hearts seniors daycare centre sat outside. Whether they could or couldn’t be outside the centre’s “protected atmosphere” was a hazy area in the regulations. The centre was built to modern construction parameters and was completely airtight, making it highly energy-efficient. No air entered or left without being conditioned – pre-heated in winter, pre-cooled in summer, and something in between during spring and fall. Windows were never opened, and doors were double doors, regulating variations and tempering sounds. Floors were washed daily and walls wiped weekly. Insects and pets were forbidden. It was entirely spick and span.

None of this could be said for the great outdoors. Wild filthy nature was filled with birds and bees, richly-microbed soils, and every kind of allergen imaginable, including floating pollens, sneaky bacteria, communicable viruses, choky tree nuts, pointy oily seeds, five-bellied dairy producers, and gluten-filled grains. And of course there were all kinds of people not obeying rules and regulations, doing whatever they liked. The Authority discouraged the Centre’s clients from going outside. But as mentioned, it was a hazy area. The manager Mr. Amin took the view that culture must be tempered by nature. Today clients sat spread across the lawn – some in sun, some in shade – before Mt Alba, which rose up among the Valley’s swirling mists, as if to God.

Mr. Amin thought about Guru Baba’s great pilgrimage. It was both the highlight and the lowlight of his recent life. It had been a privilege to spend time in the company of such a great holy man. The residents of Lucerne had been shocked when this revered Master announced that he would retire to “that lovely little village with the white mountain above it.” The Authority had immediately offered him a mansion with acreage and horses, but he said that wasn’t necessary. He just wanted one of the “little houses” that he had seen there, meaning a seniors’ housing unit built by the local fraternal group The Tigers.

An empty unit was provided for Guru Baba and he moved right in. Nobody knew what happened to the Italian woman who had been living there already. Despite being over eighty – some claimed he was a hundred, even a thousand – Guru Baba was fit and strong, and led a hundred-person pilgrimage to the top of Mt. Alba. Mr. Amin’s knees had only allowed him as far as the base camp. It saddened him to have not attained the summit with Guru Baba, but upon his return, the sage gave him a holy rock upon which to dream.

Irene looked into the forests clothing Mt. Alba’s lower slopes. She wondered how the little girl who had become St. Sandrine had managed to ride her horse up there? Irene had once walked the forestry roads at its base, searching for crystals. Even those roads were overgrown and barely passable on foot. But Sandrine had ridden Thunder, her powerful charger, right to the summit. Stories of her horse having eight legs confused facts with legends. Odin’s horse Sleipnir had eight legs, not Thunder, who was just a working farm horse. He had a huge heart – which was what had drawn Sandrine to him – but the usual number of legs. Thunder’s owner, an Old Family farmer, had immediately seen the love between this young beauty and beast. He had also seen the holy light in her eyes. He had given the horse as a gift to Sandrine, and requested that she “ensure this fine beast accompanies you to heaven.” Sandrine had taken him literally, riding Alba’s trails with Thunder, and they died together at the top. This story of God’s creatures rising together had captured people’s hearts, and caused Sandrine’s elevation to Sainthood.

James too sat staring into the distance. Since his stroke he did little else. His thoughts however were as lucid as ever. People didn’t seem to understand that he may not be able to sing and dance, but that his mind ran free. In some ways it was stronger than ever, as there were fewer distractions, just flowing possibilities. He thought of diabetic amputee Safira climbing the mountain. How had she managed it without legs? She’d had a support team, of course, carrying food, water, camping and medical equipment, but the exertion had been all her own. The thought of her struggling up there with steel legs and canes was so inspiring that he often cried. People mistook those tears for sadness at his personal condition, but that was not true. He was resigned to the life that fate had delivered, and that was the thing – that Safira wasn’t. She had achieved the impossible. She was an amazing woman. An inspiration to all.

Gemma sat in the shade, knitting and purling. Tik-Tak-Tik-Tak-Tik-Tak-Tik-Tak. She wondered if Ozwald Melchizedek had really climbed Mt. Alba? He was her spiritual mentor – and occasional tormentor – but some of his stories did seem quite tall. He said that he’d climbed Mt. Alba in his mind, raising his level of consciousness “to the top of his Man-Head, and the bottom of the God-Head”. He had balanced his soul at the mountain top – which he referred to as the “pyramid point” – and at that moment, intersected with divinity in a “holy checking in” of transcendent involution.

They all stared at the holy mountain, knowing that soon they would be climbing it together. “Okay, time to go inside,” said Mr. Amin. “Last one in is a mountain goat!”