Harmony

Once a small boy said to me with much passion, ‘God is a feel, not a think’ and I thought: Wow! Children have such remarkable insight and directness.

There was a period when — as the author of the seven books of The Adventures of Odd and Elsewhere — I would be invited to schools and libraries in England and Ireland to tell stories about my two heroes. The children were about nine or ten, and time and again I found myself startled by their directness. On one occasion — with the whole school crowded into the hall, seated cross-legged on the floor — a small boy at the front asked: ‘Where do you get the ideas for your books?’ He said it with such urgency and I could sense the whole school waiting to hear how I would respond. In a flash I said to him, ‘Do you have a garden?’ He said ‘yes’. I then asked him what he grew in it. ‘Seeds’ he replied, ‘and they grow into plants.’

I knew then that I had my answer: ‘And I have seeds of ideas. I plant them in my books and they grow into stories!’ There was an audible sigh of satisfaction around the hall.

On another occasion I took along a very old teddy bear which had been given to me, one of the first ever made. It was dressed in a frock so I called her Harmony. At one school a small boy asked why she was called this, so I said ‘Why do you think?’ He paused for a few moments and then said, ‘Because she doesn’t harm anyone!’

And harmony means exactly that. It is the state into which — if we persevere with our practice of meditation — we arrive: we are at harmony within ourselves and so will never hurt or wound another, while also we become more awake to the needs of others.

6 thoughts on “Harmony”

  1. I get my stories from travel. I carry suitcases filled with stories of my adventures in over 30 countries. Would love to meet you when I am in London. Do you go to the
    Shambhala centre?

  2. Who would not wish this, looking ahead at a new year as we are? For the brief time we live on this planet, are we all not most alive when connected with that deep sense of self, a self at one and belonging to each other, a self at one with the earth we walk on and the air we breathe in, at one in harmony. But I look back over the years behind, back through history, reading my Irish history right now, and see along with the generosity of spirit, those great swaths of human slaughter of millions of lives, death for profit and greed and grandiosity – all so shallow and fleeting in the end. Why? I must seek daily that place of harmony so that I might better live in my simple way, as if a child, and offer love to the world in place of fear and chaos. It is the way for the year ahead. Peace.

    1. DEAR REG, IT IS ALWAYS HEART WARMING TO HEAR FROM YOU…I WISH WE COULD SIT DOWN BEFORE A ROARING FIRE WITH A GLASS OF WINE AND TALK! BY THE WAY , I HVA EJUST HAD A NEW BOOK PUBLLISHED WHICH YOU WILL ENJOY READING. IT IS AVAILABLE ON AMaZON, AN ENTITLED: BLUE REMEMBERED HILLS- A RADNORSHIRE JOURNEY. I HAVE ANOTHER BOOK OUT IN THE SPRING CALLED ‘ A SHARED LIFE’ ABOUT MY 54 YEARS WITH HYWEL JONES, WHO DIED FIVE YEARS AGO. I SEND LOVE.JAMES

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