A BOYS PRAYER
By Mister Mercury
As a boy
I was taught to pray on humbled knees
Beside my bed…
To talk to God.
I was told a boy’s prayer
Was particularly powerful;
But my bed had its’ own power
That drew me to it,
One I rarely could resist.
The moons soft light,
Fresh sheets and warm blankets,
Made for short prayers
As sleep pushed my thoughts to dreams.
And yet, one quiet night in the dark,
I remember thinking,
How can God hear my prayer
If my words are just
Bouncing off the ceiling?
And that’s how it began,
I dared to wonder how God heard
A boy’s prayer.
I was thirteen when this pondering about prayer occurred. I recall wondering how God could hear a boys prayer. How could He hear me if my words were just whisperings that failed to make it beyond the ceiling in my room. I recall thinking that words and thoughts must be real things, not just vibrations created by vocal chords or thoughts in my mind that were hollow illusory non-things. I did not know about the physics of vibration and frequency at the time but realized even then, that somehow prayers were real, and heard.
It was my great blessing to have lived on the very edge of a wonderfully vibrant meadow high in the Sierra mountains. This meadow was my own personal playground where I spent countless hours fishing, exploring, swimming, observing the clouds of waterfowl that came in the fall, and looking for arrowheads left behind from the Washoe Indians.
Just a quick note about the waterfowl. There were literal clouds of ducks and geese in the fall. I recall watching one cloud of ducks that cast a shadow upon the ground as they circled in a huge swirling vortex as they landed in the marsh.
Well, dang, now I have to expand upon that vision. The meadows, as we called them, were alive with all manner of wildlife. In the spring when the snow and ice melted off migrating flocks of waterfowl populated the marsh. The music they made still resonates in my mind. The trilling, quacking, and honking and chirping. It truly was a symphony of nature that was bursting with life and light. This symphony put wonder and joy in that boys heart. A joy I can still touch and recall. But there were water snakes too, and zillions of frogs, and fish... oh my!, the fish. There were brown trout and rainbows and brookies and mountain white fish and chubs and cutthroat trout. It was my personal fishing ground.
And there were mosquitoes. Trillions of mosquitoes. I remember a time two of my friends and I went fishing out in the meadows on a bright sunny summer day and were tromping through the marsh waters from one point on the creek to another when suddenly a literal cloud of voracious mosquitoes rose up out of the swamp and descended upon us. Frankly, it scared the crap out of us. it was a tornado of mosquitoes. We were just boys, you know, and in our minds there was a good chance they would suck all of our blood out. We ran to the creek and jumped in over our heads, only coming up for air when we needed too, until the clouds went elsewhere looking for fresh blood.
But things changed. The Tahoe Keys were built. This was a large residential complex situated on dredged out canals that once had been wild marsh land on the far side of the meadows from where I lived. This was about 1964 or so. And mosquitoes were definitely not welcome. So the city got some little white trucks that went up and down the streets next to the meadow spraying DDT. We boys used to run after the trucks and dash in and out of the clouds of DDT they pumped out. Crazy huh? Anyway, they killed the mosquitoes. It turned out to be an environmental disaster. When the mosquitoes were killed there was no food for the frogs. They died out. So did the snakes. Then the migrations of waterfowl stopped coming. And then the trout died off. Now if you go to the meadows it is still very pretty but it's like a golf course. Lots of green. No life. Such a tragedy.
WHAT HAPPENED JUST NOW?
How did I go from a Boys Prayer to an environmental disaster? Let me see if I can tie this together. The meadows: like I say I spent many hours out there. I was tuned by nature and still am to this day. I would go out there and lay down in the tall grass in the fall as storm clouds scudded across the sky and I'd think, long, long thoughts.
"The thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts, and a boys will is the winds will." Don't know who wrote this but I've always loved it. Pretty much tells you about me.
Anyway, I still contemplate things like energy, and the physics of the Cosmos, and the nature of man and God. And I still pursue the illusive trout. I think though that nature is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and our children. I do believe ones heart and soul is tuned to the earth, especially when one is a child. It is such a tragedy that this current generation, for the most part, will be tuned by their cell phones, video games and social media. God! What have we done to ourselves?
Ah well, I am becoming morose. Enough of that! Thanks for reading this rambling thing. May you be blessed. May you be at peace.
Oh, and did God answer my prayer? Yes, He did. He taught me to love.