trust, and a willingness to listen to the guidance we receive
from within and without, combined with discernment, is so
important for all of us- no matter our age in years. And
though in today's world, so full of distractions, our young
protagonist may seem to be a quite unusual boy, I believe
we all, deep inside us, possess his ability to learn from
experience and inner wisdom. Perhaps in time, as we as a
species "wake up" and transform, he will not seem
such an unusual boy at all!
can learn much from our life-journey, if we are paying attention.
now, whether you are a youth or a "grown-up,"
please enjoy A Most Unusual Boy.
TO THE JOURNEY
was an unusual boy. He wasn't much like the other boys and
girls who lived near him in the village. When they would
come and ask him to play tag and other games he told them,
"Thank you, no. Perhaps another time." Finally
the children ceased to ask him to come and play, for Thomas
preferred to be on his own.
of playing with the other children, he often read a book.
He preferred the sort of books which took him away to a
far away place, books which were set in a strange land,
or a place of magic and imagination. Often, he would just
sit under a tree or in a chair, sit, and simply stare into
mother would scold him and say, "Go out and play, Thomas.
You need the fresh air!" This is what his mother thought
of his behavior.
what did the other children in his village think? To be
quite honest, they thought him a little odd. It was amazing
that they did not tease him terribly much, as children want
to do when someone is a little different. Mostly, they just
left him alone, having tired his refusals of play in their
ignored the admonishment of his mother, and the whispers
and furtive faces the children made when they passed by
his house or his special reading tree. He would continue
reading or staring, and close his eyes and imagine the places
he read about in his books.
times, he would think of new places where stories might
be set and imagine himself as any number of characters in
stories which began to take place, to develop in his mind
at a very early age. As soon as he could read he began to
do this. I guess you would call him a dreamer.
mother would scold him, "Thomas, dreamers never come
to any good!" She would want to say, "Remember
how your father turned out!" But she would bite her
tongue, not wanting to create an image in the boy's mind
of his father as someone not to be looked up to. You see,
the father in this family had died when Thomas was very
young, and ever since then it had just been the boy and
his mother inhabiting their little cottage.
Thomas's father had been very much like Thomas. Or Thomas
was like he. It does not seem possible that Thomas could
have modeled himself after his father, for his father had
died when Thomas was just a small baby. Nevertheless, they
were indeed so very much alike!
had the same hazel eyes of his father, and they would change
colors, seeming indiscriminately, or perhaps they changed
with his mood. Alternately, they would be gray, blue, green,
or brownish. It was a strange quality, but somehow compelling,
fascinating, and just a little disarming.
mother had loved this quality in Thomas' father in the early
days of her courtship with him. She had known the boy's
father was a dreamer, but she thought as many lovers think,
that perhaps she could change him, that he might turn out
to be the responsible husband and father she hoped for.
But alas, it was not to be.
boy's father, one day when Thomas was still a baby, went
off on one of his study trips, as he called them. During
these trips, he would go to places where something interested
him, and spend time researching, nose buried in dusty books
in some place academia, or buried in his own sketch pad.
places he went to on his study trips were places of interest,
places where something had happened long ago, places which
peeked his curiosity. As a rule, after he had spent a good
while studying, then home he would come and write about
wrote books that not too many people read, for they were
for the most part what was called self published. Consequently,
the family was nearly bankrupt due to the cost of printing
Thomas's father would finish writing the text for a book,
he would illustrate the book beautifully, and sometimes
he would write a little story just for Thomas. When Thomas
was small, his father would read these stories to him at
bedtime. They were not only wonderful stories, but were
embellished with beautiful, fanciful illustrations.
books were all Thomas had left of his father now, for on
one of his trips, Thomas's father had met an unfortunate
end. He had been accosted by robbers, by dangerous highwaymen,
on the way home, after visiting the spot where many said
an ancient palace lay.
this spot, there could be seen the ruins of the palace walls,
jutting out from the earth. Thomas's father had gone there
to study, to find out all he could about this place of wonder.
On the way home he had been accosted by these men and killed
on the road. He never returned home to Thomas and his mother,
though they eventually received word of his demise, after
a long and upsetting time of waiting to hear some news of
Thomas' mother had a dim view of dreamers after what happened
to her husband. Despite the frustrations that came with
being the wife of a dreamer, she loved her husband very
much, and losing him had been difficult for her. In fact,
it broke her heart. So, the fact that her son was so very
much like his father, a dreamer, a chip off the old block,
as they say, was a constant source of worry for her.
fact, she viewed dreamers and writers of books which are
destined to become dusty relics, writers of books destined
to be read by only a few, as a most dangerous sort of person.
Writers like this, dreamers like this, in her view were
persons destined to break hearts and ruin lives.
saw all the signs of being a dreamer in her son, Thomas.
They were all there, and she was not happy!
asked herself over and over again in her mind, "What
can be the cause of this tendency to dream? What is the
cause of it in my son? He is, after all, all I have left
in this world. Whatever shall I do to save him? I cannot
bear for him to meet a fate like that of his father!"
thought and thought, and suspected more and more, it had
something to do with books.
she loved Thomas, and knew how much he loved books. She
knew that he could not be happy without them. So, despite
all her fears, she saw that he got to the next town, where
a wealthy old gentleman and his kindly wife allowed Thomas
to borrow the books he so loved. And, poor as they were,
she provided Thomas with pencils and paper on which to draw
the sketches which even now resembled the artistry of her
husband. She was torn. She knew that her son was gifted,
but she also knew what the gift meant, what she feared it
things went on very much as they had been for many years,
and Thomas the odd boy grew to become a young man. The mother
struggled to keep a roof over their heads and food on their
plates. And as for Thomas, he felt a yearning to go out
and see the world. He wondered, would it be as full as magic
and delight as the world he read about in his beloved books?
Michael D. Purvis