Winter time in the Middle East is always an exciting time. Everybody looks forward to this time of the year because it gives people a break from the sweltering heat and the humidity. It is that time of the year when people begin to enjoy outdooring. The summer months keeps people indoors and restricts people to indoor activities. No wonder the malls and entertainment centres thrive the most during the summer months because that is basically the only place to visit.
During the winter months’ mountain and nature’s enthusiasts go camping and exploring in the mountains. During the day, they hike, do a bike trail and end up in a nearby beach for a swim and feel of, the soft beach sand. Watching the calm quiet waters can be such a fascinating past time for some and even the roaring waves berthing every few seconds can infuse a natural sense of energy to fans.
In the night time, the fire is made, the logs are burning, dinner is being devoured and the folks are sitting around the fire, dancing, telling tales, singing and having a great time of laughter. The sky is the open roof, the moon and stars illuminating the open roof and smiling down upon the campers. Temperatures drop terribly during the night time. That temperature drop freezes your head, freezes your feet, freezes your hands and any part of your body that is exposed.
Some more wood is chucked into the hearth. The fresh logs catch fire, and people feel exhilarated. The heat and warmth generated is welcomed. People sing some more, dance some more and the beat goes on.
Dr. Bloom had just dismissed a class and wished everybody a happy weekend when, Nash stayed back. He shook Dr. Bloom’s hand.
“I have a question for you doc.”
“Go ahead son” Dr. Bloom replied.
“Do you think I am going to pass your course?”
Dr. Bloom was taken aback. He didn’t see that coming. Nash’s eyes focused on the face of the professor. Earlier on the professor had shown the spreadsheet to the class and Nash’s row wasn’t that great. For him to pass, he needed a near miracle.
Nash was such a lovely kid. Always on time for his lessons and doing all his homework. Just that he wasn’t the brightest of kids. His attitude was excellent. Dr. Bloom had tried everything possible to offer him extra support. How could he look into Nash’s eyes and tell him, he needed a miracle to pass the course.
Dr. Bloom’s mind raced straight back to his last camping experience in Mount Tulip. It was a cold wintry night. They had driven for about four hours to get to the camping site. Max was supposed to have loaded the extra wood and somehow, it was forgotten. No one took notice of it until when they needed to get in some more wood and Dr. Bloom went to the truck to retrieve the wood. Then, it dawned on him that, frost bites and cold will be their companion that night. What an error. What an oversight. Unthinkable!!! At 11pm in the night, the nearest supply store was one and a half hours away. That would mean three hours to and fro the supply store. Would it be worth it? People were already crying for wood because the fire was almost dying out and people were freezing. Dr. Bloom didn’t know how to break the news. He didn’t want to be a harbinger of bad news and disappointment.
He remembered how Therese didn’t want to come along giving the poor weather as her excuse. They all succeeded in persuading her to come along, citing that the logs would be burning nonstop. Now the night was barely started and wood was in short supply. Within that split second, Dr. Bloom went into his thinking mode. He paced up and down the back side of the truck thinking of how to break the news and of possible solutions when his eyes caught something. He darted to it, touched it and rubbed his eyes. It was real. A pack of wood. It must have been left there by those who camped before them (even though there was no evidence of prior campers), it must have been a divine orchestration, he still believed in that option. Whatever the option that yielded the logs, it was such a relief and joy for him. He walked back to the ember-ing fire and threw in some wood and in a moment, the lights flickered, some smoke emanated from the hearth and the folks rejoiced.
He remembered the look in people’s faces when that wood lit up. He looked at Nash’s face and the concentration on his face. How could he look at him and tell him he doesn’t stand a chance. It would deflate him. He would ruin his life. Sometimes what people need in life is that hope of you are going to make it. That might be the only fuel they need to propel them to that extra level of attainment.
“Doctor, tell me the truth. I know my grades aren’t very great. Do you think I stand a chance?”
Dr. Bloom looked straight at his face and put his right hand on his shoulder.
“Son, you stand every chance. Like that night when there was no hope of a wood. I found wood. Likewise, to you. You stand the chance of passing as well.”
Nash didn’t have a clue what the professor was talking about. What wood? Which night? All that mattered to him was the fact that he heard “passing”. His face lit up. He extended his hand to the professor saying “I will do everything possible to earn the least mark to pass. I cannot afford not to pass. I don’t want to be left behind professor.”
“You will not be left behind. Make sure you are not left behind.”
“Thank you professor.”
Nash walked out of the room with a new charge and surge of confidence and assurance.