The Wolf has, made his first howl. His presence shocked me not, Watch and wait I will. Patience, belief and reason, These are my shields. Oh Wolf, I hear you howl
This is an old piece which I wrote over 25 years ago. I was attending a university conference where students across the UK came together to talk about their faith experiences. Share stories, engage in Q&A sessions. The subject of hair came up. A student stood up and asked panel, how do we stop the big bad wolf ? He was referring to Sikhs who kept uncut hair. The symbol of hair (Kesh in Panjabi) forms part of one of the 5ks in Sikhism. For this student the wolf is temptation, influence. I remember coming away and writing this the next day. For anyone who wants to practice their faith fully, across any religion, we have to deal with the wolf every day. The power rests in the individuals hands whether they let the wolf through the door.
Last week I stayed over in Manchester for a work trip. Our office there is located in Salford, in Media City. It’s not the prettiest part of Manchester but as you walk outside you are surrounded by the BBC and ITV studios. If you ever watch the BBC news in the mornings, our office is one of the buildings in the background, when they do show the view outside.
Room with a view
As the trip was short notice I had to find something quick, which I did but it won’t be my choice the next time. For anyone staying in Salford I would recommend Hotel Football, where I stayed last time out.
But, the ground had words
Salford Quays was home to the historic Salford docks which closed down a long time ago. The walk from my hotel to the office took me along the old docks. In memory of the docks the local council have placed stones with lovely words on them, every few metres. Here are images of some of those stones.
There is a large Tree near where I live,
It’s trunk is thick and brown, lines marking its bark conceal many tales,
It’s branches extending out at different lengths.
On many occasions it has offered shelter,
Today my soul wanders over to the foot of the Tree,
There I see four souls perched up against the trunk.
The first is thinking, while examining the sheer size of the Tree –
“Should I purchase this Tree for myself, then I can cut it down and sell it off for a profit”
The second is thinking, while listening to the branches and leaves nudge against each other –
“How wonderful is the sound this Tree makes, for surely it’s the perfect musician”
The third is thinking, having walked out after fighting with his wife, children and neighbour, in need of peace –
“The sheer noise these branches and leaves are making is like they are having a fight, the world is a house of arguments”
The fourth is meditating, notices a leaf falling from the Tree and thinks with sadness in his heart –
“Just as this leaf will never attach itself back to the branch again, each passing moment lost here cannot be reclaimed”