Alia, Spirit of the BlossomsThere is a man who has a special calling in this life. He is the founder and director of Sena Foundation, a special center for death, dying, grief, and loss counseling and education. Sena is also the sponsor of the the Pear Blossom Festival. His name is Bill Schaefer.
The Pear Blossom Myth
This is his special story, and here is how he begins:
Once upon a time - actually, it feels like only a few heartbeats ago - I was over on Main Street in Bowling Green, on the lawn just in front of the courthouse.
I was measuring craft spaces for the festival early in the morning. It was one of those Spring mornings that we get, where the air is warm, the breeze is not cold, but fresh.
I was measuring away, deep in thought, when it seemed I heard someone call me. I looked around and didn’t see anyone. The wind was blowing from around the corners of the old red brick courthouse. I couldn’t be sure I had heard right. They weren’t calling ‘Bill.’ They were saying, “Hey, you.”
I looked back over my shoulder, and there sitting on the ground beside the tall tree that grows just to the left of the big courthouse doors was this little old man. He had beautiful white hair, twinkling blue eyes, and pale, almost translucent skin.
He obviously was speaking to me. He had his forefinger extended, and he was beckoning me. His voice was all crackling and old, like twigs breaking in the fall.
“Hey you. Come here.” he said.
The second thing I noticed about him was that his fingers were very, very long. They were almost knotty, the knuckles were so large. They looked like a branch beckoning me to come closer.
Every once in a while in life I think we’re touched by something special. I knew this was not an ordinary encounter.
As I stepped forward, I stepped into something that was going to be unique and new. As I approached him he said in his reedy, crackly voice, “Come closer. Come closer.
“You’re that fellow from Sena Foundation. You do that Pear Blossom Festival don’t you?”
I said, “Yep, in fact that’s what I’m doing over here.”
The old man laughed. His laugh was all dry and whispery and he said, “Ah, yes, pear trees.” Then he laughed again. “I suppose you believe, like so many people in town, that the pear trees came to Bowling Green along with the Pear Blossom Festival. Do you know the roots of your festival, young man?”
“Pear trees did come with the festival,” I said. It wasn’t a question but I sounded quizzical.
He laughed again and with that same treelike gesture beckoned me, patted the ground next to him and said, “Sit down here, and let me tell you about the pear tree.”
...Alia"Spirit of the Blossoms...continued
April 15th and 16th
Contact: Mischelle Messenger
Mischelle Messenger, Assistant Director, Sena Foundation
Graphic by Maxfield Parrish, "Daybreak"
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