TREE OF LIFE: past-future alternatives

George had arrived at that point in time where he could claim some contentment with life; those early years being now behind him meant that he could take on board a new life that Australia had to offer. He had - more through good luck than sound management – navigated his way to ‘the lucky country’: ‘the land of opportunity’. But what might his life have been if those crucial decisions along the way had determined an alternative forward pathway?


George Lachlan Peters is an ordinary individual; at least that’s how he considers himself. At one stage the thought did cross his mind that he might be extra-ordinary: the new Messiah, in fact the immortal Son of God returning to Earth, growing up secretly amongst his fellow mortals, ready to lead and to live on into immortality, while his friends and relations all perished around him. Eventually he concluded that the same thought probably occurs to every other expectant person in the universe ....


Those who grow up only knowing the sanctuary of true parents often find it difficult to understand why others search frantically to find parents and family they have never known. The lucky majority fail to realise the importance of heritage; of identifying who we really are, during our miniscule moment on Earth. For those seeking the truth, nature often wins out over nurture (even though the nurture may have been impeccable). Blood it seems is thicker than any other substitutes ...


In 1984 I returned to Britain. It was more than ten years after receiving the extract of my birth certificate, telling me that I was the son of the person whom I thought was my eldest sister, and that my father was unknown. At the time, the news hit me like a bombshell; the family I thought I knew was suddenly re-formed into a new shape and I was thrown to the fringe. But slowly, the feeling of rejection (and being deceived) subsided and I became more rational, even seeing some aspects in a positive light.


The dust was still coming back to earth as we scrambled from the wreckage. There was a discord of voices in panic. People lurched from the mangled, still-smoking mess of a car and hugged each other, thanking The Almighty and whoever else was in earshot, for the fortunate continuation of their lives. I had struggled, in an upside-down fashion, to release myself from the seatbelt, then crawled through the shattered glass window, to safety, bleeding and in shock, but otherwise okay.


It was a strange looking humanoid object carved from dark wood, with stretched neck and bulging eyes: E.T. for the classroom! I never quite worked out its purpose (past or present), but the kids adored it. This was a mysterious item from faraway Africa, unlike anything they had ever seen before. Was it a centuries old voodoo doll? We will never know. But it did lay unused in my attic for several years, presiding over family strife and financial disasters.
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