Wednesday, 21 April 2010

We all have our callings.

"Elk Bath" – A wildfire in the Bitte...Image via Wikipedia

You would think that with my love of the sea I would have settled down in a little cottage overlooking it so I could spend my retirement gazing out forlornly and recall my adventures to any willing ear that happened to pass by.
Not so, I live ten miles from the sea on the edge of a little village next to a pine forest, which provides me with beautiful scenery as I watch the landscape change with the seasons.
Not quite the thrilling life I was used to but it provides me with the peace and tranquility, (without the distraction of the sea) I need to write my tales of adventure to any willing eye that cares to log into my blog, and to write at my leisure the book I promised myself I would write, if only for my own satisfaction.
Any other interest would just be a bonus.

However back to the story.

Its at this time of year when the kids burn the grass, a thing most young ones do in their youth, but when I did it, it was in places where no damage could be done.
Here,in this village when they do it, forest fires can be started.
The shepherds or herds as they like to be called here are used to burning the old grass to bring forth new shoots for the spring lambs, (burning the mares) the mares being the thick tufts of grass resembling the tail of a horse that need to be thinned out, and that is supposed to be where the young ones are supposed to get the urge to do it, but I think it is just a natural thing young ones do never thinking of the consequences.

Anyway, last night the mares were set alight, and with a strong wind blowing the flames towards the forest it wasn't long before the fire tenders arrived to put them out.
It only took them twenty minutes but that twenty minutes saved what could have become a raging forest fire.

As I watched the fire engine pass my window on its return to the station, I recalled when I was a boy living next door to a fireman which might have encouraged me to become one when I grew up, especially when I was given the chance to ring the bell one hot Sunday afternoon when we passed the fire station and the doors were wide open.
I was only about seven years old and the family had been out for a stroll enjoying the sunshine after church when our neighbour spotted us walking past and invited us in for a look round, lifted me up into one of the tenders and pointed to the strap that was attached to the bell and told me to ring it.
Needing no second invitation I grabbed it and began thrusting it back and forth.
CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! The noise could be heard all over the town of Ayr, and the folk passing by thought the engines were ready to race out to a fire, but smiled when they saw it was only a little lad clanging the bell, the envy of any young boy.

Another time, our neighbour happened to have stopped by his house on the way back from a fire, and just by chance when he was leaving to return to the station, I was leaving my house to catch a bus to school.
"Going to school" he asked, "hop in and I'll give you a lift."
I had to be lifted up, too small to hop in, but I could see out of the window, and waved to some of my school chums who were heading for the bus, and after being dropped of at the school gates I was the talk of all the school, teachers and pupils alike being the envy of them all, having lived the dream of most young boys, whose ambition it was to become a fireman when they grew up.

Today the fire engines have changed dramatically with sirens replacing the bells,what was referred to as the fire engine is now called a tender,and now with females in the service, both the males and females are referred to as firefighters, but regardless of my experiences I never once wanted to go down that road.

My ambition was always to follow in my grandfathers profession and be a fisherman.

Having achieved that I never once regretted it, loving every storm, every beautiful sunset and sunrise, taking the good with the bad, living the dream I carried with me throughout my childhood, leaving the firefighters to fulfill their calling, and the teachers who envied me then, to ponder on what might have been had they followed their dream, but then again they are fulfilling their calling, albeit, maybe their second choice, but it wouldn't do if we all worked at the same occupation, as some of us are only meant to dream of what might have been, while carrying out some other form of work, which are all equally important, when it comes to keeping the wheels of life turning.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. Wow you write so well! I have always dreamed of living far off in the forest but the threat of wildfires is definitely worth considering before making the decision. However, you make it seem like an easy one. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I give high esteem to firemen. As a kid, I was amazed by how fast they respond to emergency calls, especially when they slide down that pole.^^

    I can still imagine how happy and proud you were when you rang the bell, especially when you had a firetruck ride to school. I bet your friends were indeed envy of you.

    My childhood dream was to be a doctor but as I grew up, I realized that I was not really determined to be one. I ended up being a microbiologist and molecular biologist. I made the right choice because I followed my heart (though I also dream of just traveling and documenting my trips, LOL). No regrets. When people ask me about my profession and I tell them about bacteria, laboratory analysis, DNA, and stuff; they smile and say "Oh,like the ones we see on CSI!" I just smile back, perhaps nod a little, and feel happy that they appreciate what I do. I totally agree with you that we should pursue with our calling, do what we want to. When we love our profession, the job becomes easy and it feels more like play and not work at all.

    You made the right choice, too. You're the best fisherman (and author..^^) in the world. The sea knows that.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog and to show how much you liked my writing Alyssa,I appreciate every word. I am not in the middle of the forest, just on the edge where I feel I am safe enough should a fire start, so my choice was not so hard, although I dread to think what could happen to other houses near to me.

  4. Thank you very much for holding me in such high esteem Sashindoubutsu, I hope you are proud of yourself for settling into such an important occupation, one we have come to rely on more and more in this day and age.
    Its also nice to have you comment again after your travels.
    I look forward to reading about them.

  5. Lovely story. Frighteningly beautiful but horrific photograph.

  6. We live in fear of vineyard fires during the hot months. I love to see the helicopters drop their water. My uncle used to take me to see his fire truck when I was young, I never got to ring the bell though.
    I am glad you became a fisherman, your life at sea tales are so interesting.

    Happy Scribbling, Donald.

  7. Its Time I gave you another tale about the sea Glynis, but I am glad that one reminded you of your uncle and his fire truck.
    Pity he didn't let you ring the bell though, it was great.

  8. Glad you enjoyed my story skdd, thanks for taking the time to comment.

  9. But, dear Donald, if you did live near the sea, then what good would your memories be for?? If you did live near the sea, your memories would sink and stink and rot because then there would be no use to use them! But now since you live near the forest, I am sure that is why your memories of the seas and the smells and the swells of the oceans and the tides and all that they bring, are always with you, always alive, always dancing on your memory. :)

    It's better this way. :)

  10. Memories are one thing no one can take away from us Charity, and whether I live by the sea or near the forest something will spark a memory taking me back to the adventures I loved.

  11. You went with your heart and sailed the seas; now it's time to write that book. As an author, it's not easy. Time is the enemy. Still, you have the gift of the pen, Donald. Do it!

    All the best - Maxi

  12. Another so well written story Donald, and I especially loved this part of it: ..."as some of us are only meant to dream of what might have been, while carrying out some other form of work, which are all equally important, when it comes to keeping the wheels of life turning."

  13. You are such a great writer, Donald. I loved to read your story, interesting from the begin to the last word! Keep writing, looking forward to come to read your life story.

    Sorry for the long absent from visiting, it was to much happened in the last weeks here. I hope now it will regulate a little bit. The next big step will be getting hubby 100% healthy again and then to find a new apartment. :)

    Thanks for sharing your life in your post.

  14. It seems that you live in a beautiful place . I would really like to stay in such a place away from the city.
    Do write the book and share with us . You write so well . It always gives a pleasure to visit your blog.

  15. Thanks for the lovely compliment Maxi, the book is well under way but I am taking my time to try and make it as interesting as my blog.

  16. Ah Tatiana, are you one who dreams of what might have been.
    The world needs the input you are supplying it with too.
    Thanks so much for your appreciation of my words.

  17. Nice to hear from you again Susanne, all your readers understand the problems you have had recently, and we all wish you well for the future.
    I wish your husband a full and speedy recovery.
    I hope you don't get too stressed with your move.

  18. Hi Shabnam, the book is coming on, but has a way to go yet, thank you very much for your interest and encouragement, I will let you know when it is finished.

  19. Beautiful, Donald. :)

    You know, you have been the inspiration for a piece I have written... I will share it soon and I will let you know. :)

  20. You have such a lovely ability to paint pictures in my mind as I read about your adventures. Fire engines and firemen remain so interesting, brave and important to our lives...and our dreams in are often fleeting as it's hard to be brave and do what we really silently long for thus, you are in the minority and writing a book about how you achieved such a great life filled with the desire to go to work every day and consider it an adventure is so rare and so wonderful..

    Dorothy from grammology

  21. Thank you for the great compliment Dorothy, it means a great deal to me to know how much the faithful readers, such as yourself, think of my stories, and gives me the inspiration to keep writing.

  22. It is prob my first comment hahah I might visit you only couple times- which I regret coz I missed a lot here but I did read some of ur writings on blogs and enjoy them very much, some are pretty "heavy". In my mind, ur name always identical with a natural gifted writer coz those words u chossed feels come naturaly and intelligently brings up reader admiration to ur writing skill and ur intellegent! How did u do that!
    All the best for your book. I can see you already have loyal fans here.:-)
    And oh I feel connected with ur story and the tittle. I had big sister and when we were kids, people tend to compare us to each other. She learn medical and I learn language and fashion and they say the fields I chosed are less serious and easy but I cant always make everyone happy, It is my call. I am happy and never regret it.:-)

  23. The world needs people to work in all areas Mignonesia, and your field is important too. Where would we be if we could not converse with other nations, and life would be much duller without fashion.
    Its great to get comments as complimentary as yours, and makes me feel I am doing something worthwhile again.
    Thank you.

  24. You are most welcome!^^
    I like reading gud article and story like u have on 3 of ur blogs.Gud work!:-)