Time makes haste. Years have seen their share of joy, interleaved with stretches of emptiness and pain, yet bearing the stamp of inspiration. The eye is now fixed on the future. Will the future be the past, or will it bring a new lease of power and vigour? The eye focuses with rapt attention, whilst the mind delves into the realm of the uncharted – flashes of the past, some things that are, and some things that have not yet come to pass.
Planet earth likens itself with a burning furnace. The cast iron now emerges, after dwelling twenty years in the furnace. Earthly impurities linger, although the mantle is purged of unworthy traits. The next stage in the journey has arrived; the mantel is now the protagonist.
The Beacon of Afflatus stands aloft on top of a landmass higher than the highest peak, amidst a thick blanket of fog. There, on the stalwart rocks of faith, stands a hobbit, with the mantel piece in his little hand. Thoughts of the last Pontiff and of the mission sweep through him. An angel called Ro stands beside him. In his right hand he holds the mantel bearing the fire; with his left he pours the oils of Chamarajpet into the firewood of the beacon.
He plunges the flame into the wood, conscious and informed of the magnitude of the task in front of him. The wood bursts into flames, and the Beacon of Afflatus if lit. Hope and eagerness fills the hobbit. He can even hear the great bell of St. Peters ringing – a sign from the grotto that’ll he’ll never be alone.
The Beacons have been lit. Aspiration and optimism are kindled. The hobbit’s diminutive steps might seem naïve and insignificant, but even the smallest of steps can change the course of the future.