04 July 2006

To the Sea

When I was studying in Scotland six years ago, I lived in Broomhall Castle on the side of the Ochil Hills in Menstrie. At weekends I used to climb over the fence behind that sandstone building and ascend the vast hills on foot. High up there were great views of Stirling and the Firth of Forth. Once over the hill, I would trample down into the valley and follow the rivers and streams as far as I could. I learnt a lot from those rivers. Sometimes I would encounter a stream that was nothing but a dribble through the grass, sometimes a bubbling brook. Every beck was fed by scores of tiny tributaries, and every small river by dozens of streams. In one afternoon I would pass hundreds of watery veins across the fields and rocks, feeding one new watercourse after another. I would ponder on those waterways dribbling down the higher ground at their source, for on my way I had passed the rushing torrent heading out of the valley, carving its way between the huge boulders. Across the lowland, through the village, this wide river joined another, that one joining another and on and on, until it joined the magnificent shining Firth of Forth far in the distance. One particular afternoon, while heading onwards further than before, I understood the parable in that magnificent landscape. We are not required to be mighty rivers to get our life’s work done. Each of us can contribute to a wider goal by performing even the smallest deed. Some of us are the tiny tributaries feeding the larger streams. Some are energetic brooks feeding the rivers. Some are cascading rivers swelling the wide, deep estuaries. All of us have a role and however insignificant it may seem at the time, it will always makes a huge difference in the end. The signs of creation if only we took heed; a lesson from my aimless meanders in Clackmannanshire’s hills.

3 comments:

Mona UmIbrahim said...

MashaAllah, how fortunate of you to have this experience - a castle! But i like how you connected the science of rivers to our work on earth. You are right, if we work together we can accomplish a lot. But sometimes you feel that you as one person can't do anything and you get bogged down with that. Now, if we could only figure out a way to stop this war in Iraq...

Smartie said...

>Each of us can contribute to a wider goal by performing even the smallest deed. Some of us are the tiny tributaries feeding the larger streams.

Wow, stumbled accross your blogg - you write really well :) And the above is so pertinent. Happy writing. WS.

Aiman said...

Masha'Allah this is a very beautiful observation.