When God was Sick


When the Gods are Drinking from the Wassailing Bowl

This is a story my daughter told us when she was 4, at the breakfast table. That’s twenty + years ago. I have five children and the house we lived in at the time was an old weatherboard post office with 3/4 veranda around it. We had a large slab table and slab benches in the dining room, that we would congregate around in the mornings.
This was a summer Saturday, as I remember I didn’t have to make lunches or race to get them ready for school and kids were in their summer jammies.
Out walks Little Miss, her hair like a birds nest and her face all sleepy. She sat at the table, and I asked her if she wanted cuppa milo and some toast to start off. She nodded. Now Little Miss was at the time a quiet child, still finding her feet in the dynamics in the family with other children being loud or motherly or bossy or needy.
So all the other children were eating breakfast, talking, teasing, laughing, which was normal. Then she piped up she had a dream. I was just buttering some toast and said to her what did she dream of, trying to speak over the other kids.
“I dreamt that God was sick, and I had to make him better.”
It kind of stopped us all, and we all looked at her and saw she wanted to talk. Grabbing my coffee, I walked over to the table and sat down near her. I asked her what happened in her dream.
This is her story:
Little Miss: Two angels came into our room last night (she shared with her sister, across from my bedroom). They were so big they touched the roof, and their wings couldn’t open up. They woke me up and said that they needed my help. God was sick.
Me: What did they ask you to do?
Little Miss: I had to get out of bed, and they said they needed medicine, and it was in the garden. I had to walk into the garden and grab lots of basil.
I nodded as if that was right to do. All my kids knew the herbs I grew in the garden when I asked them to collect any for meals.
Me: Then what happened?
Little Miss: They held onto me and took me to heaven.
Me: Really? What did it look like?
She did that thing with her eyes to remember.
Little Miss: It was white and, other sick people were laying on white beds with curtains around them. They took me to God sick on a bed, and I gave him the basil. He took a bite of it, and he got better. Then he gave all the sick people the basil, and they got better.
Me: Then what happened after that?
Little Miss: God said Thank You, and he touched me, and then the angels had to take me home again.
Me: What did God look like?
Little Miss was annoyed at this question and shrugged her shoulders.
Taking a bite of her toast, she said through her munching,
“God’s better now, and so are the others. They’re happy.”
Me: Did he tell you?
Again her little face so serious made the look of thinking back and grabbing a memory.
“He never said it out of his mouth, but I know.”
And that was that. Little Miss would not talk anymore about the subject only shrug her shoulders up and down while eating her breakfast.

All the other kids had listened and didn’t mock her or roll their eyes. They just listened, and when finished that was it, never said nothing and everyone went on with their day.
For me, it’s stuck with me. I think about it every time I see basil. And the thing was at the time, the only basil we grew in our veggie patch was Bush Basil, the smaller basil that is more dainty and not so pungent in the full basil blast. Now I grow it always.
I reminded her one time of the dream many years later, but she had no recollection of it, but she smiled. I think inside of her she kind of does, but it was a dream to her…for me, I question…was it?


My wee basil growing in the veggie patch.




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