Nothing surprising was allowed to happen

Just minutes before it was time to pick Freddie up today, Izzy brought a book to my knee that I’ve had since I was a child.  As I read the first couple of pages, that lump formed in my throat, and like the opening quote from “The Troublesome Offspring…” it spoke to me in a way it never had before.  I think that’s the very reason I have a selection of books I always return to, because as I grow, so does the meaning I derive  from them.

Excerpt from “The Cookie Tree” By Jay Williams.

The village of Owlgate was quiet and tidy, and nothing surprising ever happened there.  Everything had a place, and everything was in it’s place.  Everybody knew why things happened and everything happened just as it was supposed to.  Nothing surprising ever happened there because nothing surprising was allowed to happen.  “That way,” said the people of Owlgate, with satisfaction, “you always know where you are.”

One morning, in the center of the village, a strange tree appeared.  It had not been there the night before, but it was there this morning.  It was a small tree with bark that shone like silver, and round golden leaves that twinkled in the sun.  And under every leaf there hung what looked like a chocolate cookie.

If you’re familiar with this book you’ll know that the children in the village accept the tree’s existence without question, but the adults have great difficulty.

I guess I’m searching for explanations: what makes it difficult for some, but so easy for others to accept Izzy’s transition?  What is it about us that defines the way we reacted to the news?  Is it nature or nurture or more likely a mixture of both?  But what events or experiences must go in to the mix to place a person on one side or the other?  I’m not sure if these are the right questions, I wish I knew a great philosopher, but it’s this which is churning around and around in my head.  Not anger, disappointment or even sadness, just a great yearning to understand – why?





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