Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Oasis

I was reading a great friend’s comments about being “the kiss of success” for people who have passed through his life, and the word oasis popped into my head.

That’s what I’ve been so many times in my life. A spot in the desert offering shade and sustenance for weary travelers. Those who are thirsty, hot, tired, stop in and take what they need.

And then they continue their journey, leaving me behind. Forgotten.

Apparently, the relief people get from the stop at my oasis isn’t enough. After a while, they begin to think the next oasis will offer them more sumptuous accommodations, fancier refreshments.

So they leave, with only footprints and perhaps some small, useless discards to show they’ve been here.

This has happened many times, in all aspects of my life. People have taken what they wanted and then, nourished, have left me behind.

Beyond question, there is pleasure and pride in being able to sustain people on their journeys. To know that you have been a refuge for the weary, have slaked their thirst and fed their hungers, brings a certain degree of satisfaction.

But no one has stayed. No one has cared about the promises they made while using my resources. They have accepted my gifts of love and concern, my talents, my presence in their lives as something they deserve, without feeling any concern for my desires and needs, without taking responsibility for their commitments to me.

All roads lead away from my oasis.

So I warn those who might seek shade and refreshment here in future: the last visitor drank the well dry. The last visitor uprooted the tree that gave relief from the relentless sun, killed off the garden from which sustenance came.

It was not, as far as I can tell, deliberate vandalism. The last visitor simply could not see, as others before could not, that an oasis needs to be tended, cared for, that it lives -- and dies -- based on the way it is treated. An oasis needs to have someone remain there to tend it, to give back as well as take.

I am no longer an oasis.

I no longer have a purpose.

And it hurts.

13 comments:

darling24_7 said...

Very well written.

Is it possible to build the oasis up again?

HarpO'Fly said...

The link leads to nowhere, possibly a fitting glitch.

It's a strange life.

MrScribbler said...

darling24_7 -- It is possible, I suppose, but at this time it seems to me the only one who could fix it is the one who drank the well dry.

Don't see that happening, frankly.

Harpo'fly -- the link leads to the right place now. Add HTML to the list of things I seem unable to master....

HarpO'Fly said...

looks like a good place to pitch a tent and forget everything for awhile. Must be a fitting metaphor.

I'm looking for an island refuge. Being an oasis in the desert can lose its appeal after awhile.

MrScribbler said...

An island would definitely be better, HarpO. The spot in this photo is not what it seems, being neither isolated nor even particularly safe after the sun sets....

Anonymous said...

Scrib, the key to being happy and comfortable in giving is to only give the amount of yourself that you don't feel NEEDS to be repaid. That doesn't make you selfish, it just means that you don't deplete yourself and wind up, well - feeling the way you do now.....

BDraggs said...

Darn it! I am NOT anonymous! I am BDraggs!

MrScribbler said...

BDraggs -- you bring up something I have wrestled with. I didn't know I was giving too much at the time -- in large part because I was assured the commitment was being returned in full measure.

Had my trust in commitment and promises not been violated, the well would not have been drained.

And I would have continued to give....

Anonymous said...

*Hugs* to you, MrScribbler. You will find your peaceful island one day when you least expect it.

I can only give you *hugs* and let you know it's from my heart that I care about you, and wish you well.

Sunny711

Katy said...

Anne sends her best,hoping you are well and fine.
Katy

kim said...

Have you taken from them too? It is always, in some form or another, reciprocal (sp?). Even it it's just a lesson learned from being affected by their actions.

MrScribbler said...

kim -- you pose difficult questions. Of course I received, for a while...but it is my perception of the "lessons" learned that bothers me, more than a little.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and then there are those whose minds are so warped that they misconstrue the oasis as a sulphur pool, all the while coming back again and again for more nourishment.

Go figure.

BTDT