My son just sent me the link to excellent speech by Dr. Emily Landon. Teamwork sums up this plea for help. Nothing more need be said, other than watch the video or follow the link to read it yourself. We are all being call to service; ironically most of us will, as she puts, it do so from the comfort from our sofas watching Netflix.
Chicago Doctor’s Blunt Speech About Covid-19 Hit Home Across the Country
- Continue a read aloud to your partner of children of Part Two of the Oak King
The Oak King Part 2 by Mary Catherine Rolston © 2013
“What do you mean, we need to bring more cash to this town,” said John getting mad.
“The Oak King is part of our natural history and brings many joy,” answered Sam, as things got bad.
“Oh be responsible and stop being a soft mushy tree hugging hippie!”
“Maybe you should start thinking about our environment and people and stop getting so chippy!”
“You’re a flighty flake!”
“You’re a business snake!”
The words got personal, nasty and mean.
Jo-Jo and Stevie were embarrassed and wanted to scream.
The dad’s grabbed the hands of their children and both said, “We’re leaving now!”
Going separate ways, both dads grumbled to their kids that they had to make a vow.
Insisting they not to play with their best friend as the other family didn’t see the real facts
Sam saw that a tree was getting the axe while John thought it was a simple matter of lowering tax.
The moms were horrified when they heard what had transpired
Immediately they headed to the other to apologize and conspire
Meeting on the block, they decided after school they would take the kids and meet at the old oak tree
They saw the pluses of both angles and wanting to figure out a plan where both sides would agree.
The next day was humid, hazy and weather reports threatened it might storm all day
After school, the moms told the kids the dads made a mistake, as sun broke up the clouds and gray
The moms walked and the kids skipped to the Oak King for their play and planning time
“Hey, moms try what we do you’ll see things differently,” they chimed.
Grinning Jo-Jo said, “If you lay on the ground on your back looking up you can feel the pulse of the earth and see the movement in the sky.”
Stevie shouted, “And when you sit up on this branch you can feel the strength of the oak and all that was big looks small when you’re sitting high.”
He continued, “Miss Bird says changing things that we do can help us see wonder in new places,
She says, it’s refreshing, challenges of newness that keeps us in humble spaces.”
Jo-Jo added, “She says being humble is making sure we are not selfish, only thinking about me or I’m better than the rest,
It’s when we can ask questions, be flexible, and accepting not judging ideas that might not be our own but are the best.”
In seconds the two decided to switch their spots, Stevie laid on the ground looking at the now darkening sky
Jo-Jo asked for a boost as she climbed and swung her leg over a branch with a big groan and sigh.
When the moms notice the winds picking up and a few drops of rain
They gave a one minute departure warning saying it would be unsafe for them to remain.
Suddenly the dark clouds burst flooding the field with torrential rain and hail
Hearing rolling thunder, the moms gathered Stevie and Jo-Jo and ran to an old shack off the trail.
Shivering, huddled and keeping dry they all watched the storm rage with hail and lightning
The moms watched for funnel clouds, knowing they were stuck in a storm that was very frightening
Stevie cried out, “Oh no, the Oak King might be struck by a lightning bolt!”
Seconds later, they saw a massive fork of light flash over the Oak King followed by a BOOM and jolt!
A large branch fell to the ground and the bark split with a giant crack.
“Oh no, Koala kid, that was your favourite branch,” moaned Jo-Jo patting Stevie’s back.
Stevie with a heavy heart said, “Well, at least we’re safe and let’s hope that Oak King won’t fall.”
“If it lives, it can be a symbol of strength like a super hero. It could be in the middle of the mall.”
As the rain slowed down, the moms thought of what Jo-Jo said about the Oak King.
A few minutes later, they saw cars pull up next to the field and heard distant sirens ring.
Out ran the dads from their cars calling for their families in a flurry of worry.
Awkward tension from the night before disappeared as they hugged their loved ones’ eyes blurry.
“We read your notes that you went to the Oak King, but worried as it’s the highest point on the ground.
Thank goodness you had shelter and are safe and sound.
Both dads watched Stevie and Jo-Jo run to the Oak King then hug the trunk and start to cry.
Stevie said, “Please Oak King, Koala Kid and Turtle Tot don’t want you to die.”
Sam spoke, “Don’t worry, it just lost a large branch and it’s central root runs deep, it should be alright.”
John piped up, “It looks like I learned a thing or two from this terrible fright.
Sam I am sorry for what I said the other day, you’re right many in this town love this old tree.”
John nodded “Me, too I’m sorry. You’re right, we need the mall and the money; maybe a compromise is the key.”
The two dads forgave and shook hands while the moms smiled and winked.
Then they talked how they could keep the Oak King and have a mall that was distinct.
Jo-Jo said, “It’s simple build it around the old oak and a park, like the centre of a wheel.”
Stevie added, “A place open to fresh air and sky, with picnic tables where all could share a meal.”
The families worked together writing up their plan and getting the town’s support.
The developer agreed to all except on one issue their plan fell short.
He wanted to celebrate the wisdom and vision of two kindie tots and the surviving power of the old oak tree
From the fallen branch, a door was made and carved with a turtle and koala holding a wheel and underneath a decree:
The Oak King, welcomes you to enjoy the sun, shade and fresh air
Reminding nature teaches us to unconditionally love and share
We invite you to meet on our land devoted to peace and tranquility
May we forgive, accept, care with grace filled, flexibility and humility.