The Tale of Raven Road
Once upon a time in a distant millennium, there stood a house.She was a lovely house and would be highly prized among most in the world, nestled among rolling hills in the countryside, far away from the bustling city, but she wanted more...
She had great dreams. She wanted to be a grand home, strong and impervious to destruction.
“If only I were made of brick,” she thought as her timbers rose from the ground, “then I would be strong and could withstand the onslaught of all that would attack me.”
And they surrounded her with brick. And she stood straight and tall.
Families came and went through her early years. For Sale signs posted in her yard brought the curious who inspected her and found her suitable or not.
One day a family arrived to Raven Road and found her just to their liking. They sent photographs of the house to their families and friends and excitedly told them of the place they would call home. They moved into her walls with their belongings, and little children splashed in her pool, and men and women worked in her yard, tending her with vigor and youthful determination.
“Finally, I will become a home!”
She had heard that the family knew of fine castles and had visited European structures that had withstood the tests of time. She wanted to be like the castles of the British Isles and Europe—homes she believed the family loved-- and became more confident in her dreams when they enlarged her borders and raised her ceilings and decorated her walls with fine art and rugs from far countries.
“Now they will love me as they admire the castles of their travels, she thought.
If only I had a castle’s moat and strong defense…then I could protect them.”
And they strengthened her and fortified her exterior and made her more secure.
But she wanted more.
“If I were a real castle, I could provide all that this family might enjoy. I could give them a staff of cooks to feed them in the most generous way – with hearty meals and great conversation and laughter into the night.
I could give them musicians to entertain them with stringed instruments that they might make merry with their friends and find joy within my walls.
I could have fields for children to run and play and kick balls with one another. As the children grew, they could discuss philosophy and religion and learn great mathematical theories and apply themselves to improving the world they inhabit with knowledge that is just beneath the surface now, but, with diligent study over a long period of time, can be uncovered. The children could grow strong within my walls and search for truths hidden in the universe that only those with keen insight and a willing faith can glimpse.
If only I could have these acres teeming with produce of the field, yielding fragrant herbs and fresh vegetables for them to enjoy all the year ‘round,” she pondered.
“I would provide animals who could dwell with them in safety and in whose company they could find comfort and refuge during challenging times. A real castle would have many animals! Then they could learn the importance of giving care to others—all God’s creatures—as they live together.
I could give them wise sages—those who have experienced life for more years than they have--and arm them with understanding about the ways of the world. I could instruct them in the trials and pitfalls that I have seen befall others, so that they might avoid the harsh realities and difficulties common to all people.
I long to protect this house and all who dwell within. But how?
If only I could house a brave warrior, then I could let them rest secure on my foundation.
But I am only a house, not a castle. And I have not been field-tested. Am I battle worthy for all that housing a family requires? It takes more than strong walls and burnished floors and security from the outside forces that they need.”
Years passed. The city sprawled and lapped at the edge of Raven Road. The family grew, and the children grew in years and experience.
The family traveled to faraway places and walked through the ruins of castles that had once stood tall in their day. Their halls are empty now. Inquisitive admirers come year after year to imagine what might have been.
And the family goes home to Raven Road again. And again. Having lived and enjoyed travel around the world, they go home to Raven Road where they have found comfort within her walls.
They have found her to be a sure foundation and a port in storms for the family that lived and loved there, giving protection from all that would assail them. Steadfast, she stood stoically silent as tears of joy and sadness through the years fell upon her floors. Real Life—not the stuff of legend and fables--elicits both kinds of tears. A real home weathers storms seen and unseen.
The house was field-tested and found worthy.
In time, she came to learn that within her walls had stood armor and courageous knights all along. She had, indeed, housed a brave warrior-in-the-making all through the years. This family had helped form him under her watch. And a brilliant scientist and mathematician….and beautiful, compassionate healers, builders, craftsmen, tender men and women with generous hearts….and musicians…and scholars….and gardeners, chefs and creative entertainers….all of whom call the house at Raven Road Home.
And she no longer wanted more, for it was more than enough.
And it was said that they gave a grand party in the land, inviting their friends and family. The guests came from far away to eat and drink and make merry in the house for days on end.
And she stood strong and proud in one of her finest hours. She rejoiced in the beautiful ones who had dwelt within her walls, for they had grown strong and able. She spread out her ample concrete apron for the bride and groom and all who loved them to feast upon the goodness of the Earth on Raven Road. Little ones once again ran through the lawn and splashed in her pool as in days of old, and fireflies danced before the glowing embers late into the night. They sat beside the fire and looked with great pleasure upon the home that love built.
The end is only a new beginning…