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A couple of weeks ago in the Sunday Supplement of the Victoria Times-Colonist there was a shot of a large bowl of Gary Oak acorns gathered by a staff member of the city's nursery. They will be used for planting around the city. Incidentally there was also a fascinating article about this year being a very prolific year for acorns.

It was the word acorns and the large bowl that brought to my mind something I've had in my study for a long time. An author named Jacob Needham wrote it in his book Lost Christianity. I think of it as a modern parable. It’s time to share it! Here goes...

Once upon a time in a not so far away land, there was a Kingdom of Acorns. It was nestled at the root of a grand old oak tree. Since the inhabitants of this kingdom were modern, fully westernized acorns they went about their business with purposeful energy, and since they were mid-life baby-boomer acorns they engaged in a lot of self-help courses. There were seminars with titles such as "Getting all you can out of your shell". There were woundedness and recovery groups for acorns who had become bruised in their original fall from the great tree. There were spas for oiling and polishing their shells, and various acornopathic therapies for enhancing longevity and wellbeing.

One day, in the midst of this kingdom there suddenly appeared a knotty little stranger, apparently dropped out of the blue by a passing bird. He was capless and dirty, creating an immediate negative impressing upon his fellow acorns. And huddled beneath the oak tree he stammered out a wild tale. Pointing upward into the branches of the great tree he said "We...are...that!"

"Delusional thinking obviously", the other acorns sneered, and moved away. But one of them, a philosophically minded acorn, decided to continue chatting with the strange visitor, if only to humour the poor fellow, "So tell us, he said, "how would we become that tree?" 

"Well, said the visitor, it has something to do with going into the ground...and cracking open the shell".

When the other acorns standing around listening to this conversation heard this they said

"Insane! Totally morbid! Why then we wouldn't be acorns anymore!


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Credit: Liudmilla Chernetska