It isn’t every day you get to go out and be a hero. Assuming you wish to be one, there are many days where nothing even moderately exciting takes place at all; and on these days you have to shovel coal; peel potatoes; look after children; fix cars. Even jobs as exalted as the Queen’s must have their less than enjoyable element: being charming to tedious social climbers, for example.

But occasionally in one’s life, you sense that there are changes underway. All of a sudden the wind is from the East and the moon is full (or whatever circumstances you have chosen to herald magical events.) These are times of extraordinary activity in your life. People around you die or are born; lovers arrive or depart; in a few short weeks the circumstances of your life can change absolutely and in ways that ae totally unexpected.

At these critical times, hopefully a hunting horn sounds in the recesses of your memory to remind you that you have reached a place of judgement. Though one’s every action must be accounted for, and every words stands forever, some times seem to be especially significant. and throughout them you must behave as though your life depends on it, for on your conduct now will depend the future well being of yourself and your companions in life, though no-one but you will ever know this.

So for the duration of this period, you must do your very best; be the finest YOU there is. You must be a lady or gentleman of the highest order. You must be particularly well behaved towards your enemies and those who dislike you. Your manners must be faultless. And whatever is asked of you (that the seeker is entitled to request) you must surrender immediately and graciously and with no count of the cost. On the other hand if someone asks of you that to which they are not entitled you must firmly and promptly, but courteously refuse, regardless of the consequences of doing so. You must be kind to everyone. You must have no regard in your actions for profit or fame. Your behaviour must be as near perfect as you can get it. (And don’t make the mistake of believing that it IS perfect either, or you’ll become a pompous and insufferable bore, and not pass this test either.)

No-one will notice what a prince you’ve been. You will get no plaudits or credits. You’ll just realise one day that the ship that represented this whole experience has sailed, leaving you, exhausted and depleted on an unfamiliar shore, and that it slipped out in the darkness with no regrets, and no thank you or good-bye.

What was that all about, you’ll ask yourself? Why did I make such a huge effort? But – you passed the test. The right questions came up. You are an unsung hero, and they are secretive people. (What other kind of hero is there, apart from unsung? You are no hero if you boast about your heroism.) These times will come again, but in the meantime you have to return to ordinary life. Does everyone pass through such times? I expect so, but who knows? You’re not talking, are you?

As ever when you struggle to say something, you find Shakespeare has already said it far better.

“There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune…’

Bon voyage, unsung heroes whoever you are. May your journey through 2017 bring you whatever your heart most desires, and I hope that turns out to be all you thought it would.   I think heroes are going to be sorely needed.

About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

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