Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sleeping on a Bed of Nails

As a child I was fascinated when reading about different countries and customs. I checked out books about Albert Schweitzer, Archeology, and every foreign nation I could find. I wasn’t sure if I just wanted to see them all or convert or serve every nation, or just eat the food there. But I read and reread my fathers volumes of National Geographics. and there of many wonders I uncovered, I was fascinated to learn of people who put themselves in a trance and were able to sleep on a bed of nails. Well I never was brave enough to do that but often thought about those pictures and wondered how they stood that pain or if they felt it at all….Well, I lived in Atlanta at that time but with my heart in rural Alabama, I would share bits and pieces of my acquired knowledge of the world apart from the mountain…

Always a story weaver, I would show them the pictures (if I still had the library books, or I would smuggle a copy of my Father’s treasured National Geographics. I had a vivid imagination and thought about what kind of magic or spell could be cast that would cause a person to do such a scary thing…. When I showed the pictures to my country buddies, they would say, “That there guy, he just ain’t right”. Their mothers said, “Poor thing, he’s tetched in his head”. Since every one wasn’t as worldly as I, some even said, well he’s surely sick, look at his poor head and of course they were referring to his turban.

Well, I told my passel of country cousins and friends I wanted to make a bed of nails, they just shook their heads and just left me alone. They made allowances for my city breeding…. So I decided to recreate the happening. I looked around in my Granny’s barn and saw nothing that looked like a bed of nails…No such luck, but I did find a broken board and a hammer with a broken handle and a little snuff tin full of old nails that had been saved along the way. I learned quickly although I was very little, that as I hammered my fingers and a few nails into the old board and then found I had not planned well, as I hammed them into the top of an box, that I would never have a bed of nails. I would never know if I could fall asleep on a nail of beds this day in my life!

Back then there were not warnings in magazines or on tv or in books to “NOT try this without adult supervision” or other warnings….Yes, in the country there was never a lack of things to do. There were acorns that waiting to be turned into a tea set. There were places to explore that never got digital photographs or photographs of any kind…..berries to pick, jam and jelly to test for Granny, tin roofs to slide off, cookies to make from scraps of Granny's pie crusts, creeks to jump….. watching spiders write their names on their webs…. No phones carried on me texted or phoned interrupted me. No computer lured me to some urgent e mail, report or other such temporary thing. Discovery of arrowheads waited…Each day was new to me and a time of joy and exploration. Here’s praying every one has time off from their technology…time to plan, read, do, dream, hear, learn, renew, rest, vegetate, time to be….We need that more than ever in our over wired society.….There’s a whole world out there for us all…. Thank you Lord that I was not a child of technology.