The Telling Place: ‘The Child & The Beach’

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The ancient Celts, Celtic Christians and Druids of old would have sat around the evening’s camp fire  and told stories to each other – the ‘telling place’. Some of these stories would be of their tribal history, great leaders and heroes of the past, perhaps for amusement, and sometimes the stories would be great cosmic stories of creation, and sometimes stories with a deep moral buried within and which the hearer would have to discern. Latter-day Celts, Celtic Christians and Druids still tell wonderful stories, and here’s a meaningful story just for you:

An adult was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As they walked they could see a young child in the distance, seemingly playing.

As the adult he drew nearer they noticed that the child kept bending down, picking something up, and then running to the edge of the sea, and throwing it into the water. Time and again the child kept hurling things into the ocean.

As the adult approached even closer, they were able to see that the child was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time the child would run to the water’s edge and throw them back into the sea.

The adult asked the child what they were doing, and the child replied,” I am throwing these washed-up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen.

“But”, said the adult, “You can’t possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach alone, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can’t possibly make a difference.”

The child smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as they threw it back into the sea, they gleefully shouted, “It makes a difference to this one.”

Little by little, in large and small ways, we can make a difference. Never give up.

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One thought on “The Telling Place: ‘The Child & The Beach’

  1. Pingback: In Dark Times, Shine: 3/5: And, Action! [Celtic Thought] | Tadhg Talks…

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