Grey clouds gathered cooling what was a dry, humid summer day just a few moments ago. The rain fell and beat upon the earth, like a thousand drummers in a marching band. Lisle watched from here bedroom window as puddles appeared. She rarely liked rainy days, because, she did not like having to be inside with nothing to do. However, today was different. She had been feeling sad since earlier, so she welcomed the gloom of the grey skies; which was befitting to her mood. Lisle was self-centred, if she was in a bad mood she felt the world should stop and acknowledge this.
“Would you like some cookies and milk?” a voice said, “I just baked them.”
“No thanks” she replied.
It was her mother. Susan Immingham. A short woman with ember curls puffy cheeks and narrow chin. She always wore pearls, they were her favourite; although as a kid she never cared much for jewellery until she met her future husband in Jr. High, but that is another story.
“Is something the matter dear?”
“I’m alright,” she said while feigning a smile to avoid having to talk with her mother. Lisle dreaded having talks with her mother because she would always say things that would embarrass her.
“Are you sure?”
Her mother exited the room and disappeared down the hall. Lisle turned backed to the window and resumed swimming in her thoughts.
“Life can be such a drag” she mused. “Why are humans so complicated? Especially the ones we call ‘friends’.” She let out a sigh fell back on her bed and peered up at the ceiling. Just then, she heard a door swing open and a loud shriek ensued.
“This damn rain came from nowhere!”
It was her father, David Immingham. He was slim built 6’3” tall and had strong facial features, a handsome fellow by far. Mr Immingham was a supervisor down at the power plant. He had a tendency to be a bit on the boisterous side.
“Did you bring the eggs and butter?” asked Susan
“I forgot.” He said a bit ashamed.
“I told you I needed them to bake Lisle’s birthday cake!” she said, “Poor thing, nothing’s been going well for her today.”
“Oh she’ll get over it, Susan; she’s a big girl now.”
“I can’t believe you just said that” she scowled.
“Oh come now dear, she’s a teenager. You remember what that’s like do you not?”
“Yes. Which is exactly why I’m concerned about her?”
“Would you have me talk to her then?”
Mr Immingham grabbed the plate of cookies from the island stuffed one in the mouth and lazily strolled up the steps to Lisle’s room. He knocked on her door and poked his head in.
“Hey there June-bug, your mom just baked some cookies; you want some?”
“No thanks.” She sighed
“What’s the matter?”
“It’s nothing dad.”
He set the plate of cookies on her nightstand and sat beside her.
“You know I sometimes get grumpy when it rains too.”
Lisle turned at him and gave a blank stare.
“I remember the first time you looked at me that way. You were three and you wanted to help with my tie. This particular tie though, you’d pick out for my birthday that year and you wanted me to wear it that day-“
“Where is this going dad?”
“Nowhere” He smiled.
“I said it’s nothing dad, I don’t wanna talk about it” she murmured.
“I don’t want you to.” He said. “I just want to speak to my daughter”
“Nothing really just twaddle talk.”
“Twaddle talk dad?”
“Hey when you get this old any conversation is appreciated, trust me.”
She let out a grin, which she desperately needed. “Mom told you didn’t she?”
“No, I simply saw freshly baked cookies and thought you’d like some.” He gave a wink
“Why are people so annoying dad? Especially friends!”
“People will be people dear.” He said. “They will say or do things that will upset you, but that only happens when you care about them.”
“I don’t get it,” she said with a confused look.
“Take your mother and me for instance; sometimes I can drive her to drink. I can be a bit of a tool and I am forgetful at times. Most instances I’m unaware of some of the things I do that gets under her skin, and I may continue to do these things unless she sheds light on them.”
“What if she never does?”
“Well that’s an act of love June-bug,” he replied, “When you accept the flaws of those you care for and put up with them.”
“So I should accept the fact that all my friends ditched me for the summer?”
“That’s a part of life sweet heart, you’re always going to go through these things. You’ve just got to learn to roll with the punches.”
“I hate it when things do go the way I planned.”
“Then plan harder,” he said with a smile. “You shouldn’t let life discourage you. Wanna know a secret?”
She looked up at her father with marble eyes.
“When I was about your age I was in a similar situation, I wanted to spend the summer having fun, but my father had other plans. He sent me to work on my grandparent’s farm. Now you can my disappointment when this happened. When I got there, I did not want to work at all. I did everything I could to get out of being there.”
“Did grandpa punish you for acting out against your grandparents?”
“Oh he did, he sent me back the following summer.”
They both laughed killing the gloom of the summer rain that had entered.
“While I was working there though my granddad, your great grandfather- who was sort of an old sage the old bugger- he came to me one morning before we began work and he gave me this old book and opened it to a page and told me to read a passage from it. I’m going to share that passage with you.”
He reached into his pocket pulled out his wallet, fingered through the compartments, and pulled out a folded piece of paper that looked like it had been around since the invention of parchment; then began reading.
“One day feeling fed up with everything in life a man looks up into the sky with embitterment and began to confront life about his short comings. He wanted to know why he always got the ‘short end of the stick’
“You’re just one big disappointment you know that…you’re nothing like I thought you were…you always lead me astray…you deceive and betray me…why must you patronize me…have you NO PITY?!!!” he said…
“Then life answered:”
“On the contrary, I’ve always been this way you’ve merely bought into an image you wanted to be true. Therefore, in the end, you’ve disappointed yourself. Do not avert your eyes, to from the entire picture to focus on an object in it, you will always be deceived. Remember many things go into creating life…and it is in these things that I life exist. These things bring about a balance in me…but lest you forget, always remember…all things are one….this is because all things were created by one hand…”
“So, when you look at me don’t perceive me to be something outside of yourself, you will always be confused if you continue to do so; instead do just the opposite, look inside yourself and you’ll figure me out. Do not betray my logics with feelings or the mis-teachings of the world’s concept of me, I’m not that complicated, I am you and you are me, and you are all thin; you are also the hand that created all things, and so that gives you complete control over all things, including the disappointments you accuse me of…”
“You think therefore you are, you be therefore you liv, you say therefore you act. There is power in all these things, there is no such thing as the impossible or incapable, because I life bend only according to how YOU shape me…I put obstacles there because you think there are obstacles…I only act of what it is you put in your mind…;doubt, fear, confidence, ego, courage, failure. All these things I induce because you birthed them; I give you heaven or hell based on decisions you make…”
“That is why I admire animals you know, they never worry or complain nor trammel themselves with the things you humans do. They want something, they go and get it, they don’t worry about how they’re going to get it they just go out and DO…you see…you can only go as far as you allow yourself to go,” he gave a smile and said, “why do you think they call stars ‘stars’? It’s because they see no limit just an endless sky…they not only see…they also believe and just know…THEY LIVE…”
“Do you know why they say practice what you preach…it’s not the fairytale notion of setting an example for others…no no… it’s so YOU can achieve what it is you are saying….you have to believe what it is that’s coming out of your mouth…anyone can say something but very few believe what it is they are saying….stars have no doubts about themselves….”
“So rid yourself of the teachings of the world, begin to look inside self for the answers…see me for what I am and not a picture you’ve painted…then and only then will you understand me….and less disappointments will ensue in your life…”
They sat in silence Lisle spoke first.
“Your granddad was weird”
He laughed and said, “Yes he was, but it didn’t take away from the fact that he was a genius. I think he rubbed off on me”
“I think so too.” She smiled. “Thanks dad.”
“You’re welcome June-bug.” He got up and kissed her forehead “I think it’s about time I get back to work. They probably blow everything up if I’m not back there soon.”
He gave a wink and disappeared through the door.