Had it been some other time and some other night, he might have been able to sleep. But the small Irish town that he lived in was currently agog with a lot of excited gossip about rather grotesque happenings, in the last few days. And as the town’s only doctor, today had been the worst for him. So, after incessant tossing and turning on his bed, he finally gave up all hope of sleep and sat down at his table, overlooking the window. The blinds were up; he didn’t like sleeping in a closed and shut up room, after all.
The night was dark, just like the roving thoughts in his mind. A chill night wind blew in. He shivered. The world was sometimes unfairly cruel to some people. Humanity was probably a thing of the past, now lost in some dark recesses of hidden catacombs. Another gust of wind blew. The exhausted doctor looked out. There was a half moon, spilling all its silver beams on the town, giving it a scraggly, isolated look. Immediately outside the window, he could see his backyard, mostly covered by the huge walnut tree, its leaves rustling softly in the breeze.
Altogether it could be said that the sight was quite pleasing and filled with a peaceful calmness. Having nothing to do and too tired to think about the serious things, the doctor’s attention got diverted towards the tree. Sturdy it had stood since he was a child. Many a happy memory had been attached to it. But as he had grown up, the tree had remained forgotten, except for the fact that it was his pets’ favorite place of rest.
The fat brown tabby cat loved to sleep on one of its branches and his terrier dog made his hub at the roots.
True, that at first he used to have the hell of a time keeping the two from quarrelling, but time had gradually taught them to live together in harmony. He looked at them, sleeping presently at their usual spots. The tree had always been witness to their enmity and friendship, thinking of which, the tree had been actually a witness to many things through all these years. Starting from the events in his house where he had grown up, struggled after the death of his parents and finally his lifestyle of solitude, to all the incidents and accidents of the town, this tree had definitely watched everything in silence.
It was still watching right now. Perhaps it was watching the togetherness of his cat and dog and thinking about it like he was. What a pity that men couldn’t understand the importance of togetherness and are always bent upon playing havoc. Anyway, it is too late to teach them now, he thought. But, was it really?
What if the tree was now watching the thief of the town, sitting on some roof and contemplating about giving up this kind of a life to start a new honest way of livelihood? Or what if it was watching the poor student who was hard at work throughout the night so that one day he could make his parents stop laboring and adhere to a comfortable lifestyle? Again, what if it was watching the girl who had been raped yesterday sitting at home not thinking of suicide anymore but making plans to start a new life? Now, this is what she must do. Hope is the best thing one can aspire for during difficult times.
Poor girl, examining her had been the most difficult task till date for him. And it had nearly killed him to hear her scream that she wanted to end her life.
Probably those horrible thoughts were keeping his sleep at bay… But only if she could be courageous and begin anew, it would be really nice and would give him the much required peace. Or better still, what if the tree was now watching this girl’s adversary in the local prison finally confessing the act of guilt to the sheriff?
How really nice it would be if all of it was really happening. This small town would be turning overnight into a paradise. Unfortunately, none of it was happening anytime soon. But when he had been thinking about all these good things, a faint realization came to him that humanity was not entirely lost. It never could be as long as there are the good people living in the world. People who symbolize the virtues of togetherness, optimism, honesty, courage and many more. And it was only due to them that things in the world were running fine, to some extent at least.
Ah! Thanks to all these angels of the earth. Thanks to them, that he could now go to sleep with a prayer for the girl and all others who were suffering. One day one of these good angels would definitely come and end all of their pains and ease their lives. One just has to be a bit brave, hold on and believe in them. And, voila! Their magic would spread. Let’s not forget Mother Teresa who some years ago had been the angel of several people because of her virtues of mercy and sympathy.