Simple joys with deep messages

Flower growing out of crack in the sidewalk

He was staring at his phone as I sat next to him on the bench in the park.

“Terrible!” he exclaimed.

“What is?” I asked, staring at his distraught face.

“I put up a new picture of myself on Facebook, and no one’s commented, not even one like! My day is ruined!”

“Why?” I asked.

“I bought a new jacket just for this pic!” he grumbled. “Waste of good money. Anyway, how’s your morning been till now?”

“Good,” I said, “I saw a mother crow, feeding its baby with a piece of bread I had thrown. You should have seen the little fellow’s expression! It was like, ‘Mum, I don’t want bread, I want cake!’ I laughed myself silly!”

“You found that exciting?”

“Yes,” I admitted. “And look at that dog playing with its pups; have you noticed she already knows which is the mischievous chap, and continues pushing him over to irritate him? Like, saying, ‘Son, learn to be patient and tolerant as you grow up…’”

The young fellow with the phone looked at me with interest. “And all these things are around us?”

“Little exciting things happening,” I said, “that make you laugh or quite often make you ponder if there’s a deeper meaning.”

“What deeper meaning would you get from a mother crow feeding its baby with bread?”

“Well, it reminds me of asking God for something and not being satisfied with what I’ve got.”

“Like asking for a car, and then complaining that He didn’t give you a Mercedes?” asked my suddenly-interested companion on the park bench.

“Yes,” I said. “And the poor little crow, not realizing his stomach isn’t ready for a rich cake, or maybe his mother realizes he’ll continue wanting cake everyday which she can’t get him all the time?”

“Wow!” said the boy. “All this from just watching a crow in your garden?”

“No, all this from looking up from your phone sometimes!”

The boy grinned and looked away into the distance.

“Look at India!” he said.

“What?” I asked puzzled.

“Look how the trees have come together. It seems the sky has formed a map of India between them!”

“That’s incredible!” I said, looking at the formation.

“It’s like nature speaking!”

“Nature speaking?” I asked, puzzled.

“Saying, God is holding up our country and blessing the people…” said the boy smiling to himself as he whispered the words.

“You’re seeing more and hearing more than me,” I said quietly.

“What a lot I can learn just by looking around,” said the youngster as he suddenly got interested in what was happening around, and as he put his phone away, “Simple joys with deep messages that I had stopped seeing…”

Robert Clements
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Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a journalist and newspaper columnist. With an estimated 6 million readership, Bob’s Banter is published in over 30 newspapers and magazines in nearly every state in India, as well as in the top newspapers of Bangladesh, Dubai and Pakistan and is also translated into Hindi. He blogs at and can be reached at