Cyril Rum, Angel on sabbatical, had come to earth for two reasons. One was to have a break from all things angelical, for after all eternity was a long time to be doing the same job and secondly to see first hand how complex mankind was.
Unlike Angels man had been given definite time periods in which to live.
To Cyril’s observations, man seemed to make the most simple thing into a complex matter.
Living, Cyril observed was fraught with danger. It was no straightforward event when you considered that from the moment of their birth, man was headlong in a rush to die.
Cyril had settled in a quiet street in a quiet town with a neighbour who provided him with a never-ending account of man and what he was on about.
Her name was Mildred Thrupp, a single woman, but one whose knowledge of those around her never stopped amazing him.
Cyril had discovered early on in his visit when asked to a social gathering by Mildred and asked the question, “Where have you come from?” that this might be a way into the community.
Cyril, however, with no concept of time started to tell his story and after the three-hour mark noticed most people had moved away to the buffet and the one remaining person had a glazed over look. Since then he had found a simpler response of, “Here, there and everywhere.” was sufficient to send the questioner on their way.
Mildred taught him much about life on earth, he found it sad so many died in wars and what he concluded were futile wars, with man being an organic being he understood that their bodies broke down and that fact led to their deaths.
He attended many funerals as an observer because he had no concept of grief or loss and the outpouring from surviving relatives never ceased to amaze him and make him realise how complex humans were.
There were moments when he saw man as being compassionate and loving when circumstances led him to believe man was capable of so much good. Those experiences gave him hope for the people around him.
The earth was a good place to live he concluded, it had so much going for it in terms of natural beauty he just wished man would take better care of it.
Each evening he sat in his back yard in one of the white wooden seats he had there. He watched the sunset behind the giant gum trees, and he marvelled at the beauty of nature.
Cyril Rum enjoyed his ‘life’ on earth. His neighbour Mildred would call to him and appear with a cake in hand and a hot pot of tea. Humans ate too much thought Cyril as he downed his third slice while Mildred prattled on about the people at the end of the street who much to her disgust had brought another child into the world when they struggled to feed the five they already had.
“Choice,” said Cyril, “Man has choice, you chose to live a single life, they decided to have children. Whatever you choose in your life there are consequences. You deal with loneliness, they deal with poverty. It’s all relative.”
There were occasions when Mildred wondered just who this neighbour of hers was.