Life

The Thorn Birds: A Saga of Love, Sacrifice, and Destiny

In 1977, “The Thorn Birds” came out and quickly became popular in the United States, becoming one of the top ten best-sellers in the United States. Its momentum has not diminished, and it has quickly become an international bestseller, attracting countless readers.

Even if many people have not read this book, they must have heard this passage in the book:

There is a legend about a bird that sings only once in its life, and its song is more beautiful than any song in the world.

From the moment it leaves the nest, it is looking for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it finds what it wants. Then, it plunged its body into the longest and sharpest thorn, and let loose its voice among the wild branches.

In its dying moments, it transcended its own pain, and its song eclipsed both the skylark and the nightingale. This is an extremely beautiful song, and the song ends with death.

However, the whole world is still listening, and God is smiling in the sky. Because the best things can only be exchanged for deep pain and trauma…

This passage is the title of “The Thorn Birds”.

I read this book for a long time, and put it away for a long time after reading it. It lay quietly on the bookshelf, speechless and silent. Nothing in this world can always disturb the tranquility of a book, but walking and walking We can always rest in a book again.

After a long time, going around and around, I suddenly realized that there is no love in this world that can be easily obtained, but all the love in this world is full of sacrifice.

Talking about love without giving is actually not about love, but about the selfishness and delusion in your heart.

01

December 8, 1915.

Meggie celebrated her fourth birthday and got the gift she wanted most, which was a cute rag doll.

Meggie, 4 years old, is already a decent little girl, but she has only been to the grocery store once in her life.

That was in May. She was sitting neatly in the car next to her mother, looking at the dazzling array of products. She was very excited.

But her favorite was a rag doll wearing a pink brocade dress.

She never thought that one day she would be able to play with this doll.

But now, it became her birthday gift. She looked at the doll with great love and named it Agnes.

However, her naughty brothers roughly snatched the doll from her hands and broke it into pieces.

Meggie begged, but to no avail.

It wasn’t until the arrival of eldest brother Frank that Meggie was saved from fear. However, the rag doll was already in a mess, with various parts scattered in the desolate and messy grass.

Meggie’s family is very poor and has a large population, so it is impossible to buy her another one. Frank persuaded his mother Fiona to buy this gift for Meggie. Frank is a worker in the blacksmith shop, but everything in the family can only be purchased by his father Paddy. Call the shots.

His father was an ordinary man who worked various odd jobs, but he loved Fiona deeply and felt that she was a gift from God.

Indeed, Fiona was a gift from God. When Fiona’s dream of love was shattered and she became pregnant out of wedlock, she agreed to Paddy’s pursuit and became his wife.

After Paddy and Fiona got together, they lived a modest life. Children were born one after another, Meggie being the youngest girl.

Lu Xun said:

Tragedy is destroying beautiful things for people to see.

Her beloved Agnes was devastated, and Meggie was devastated.

But Frank promised her that he would help her restore Agnes to her original appearance.

Beautiful things are always easy to break, and sometimes as long as it is broken a little, people will feel that it is no longer beautiful.

But life has always been about finding beauty among imperfections, and finding perfection among imperfections.

02

Meggie just wants to grow up freely, but there are many rules in this world.

On the first day Meggie was sent to school, she was beaten because she didn’t understand the rules and didn’t stand up when talking to the teacher.

She vomited out of fear and accidentally vomited all over the teacher.

So poor Meggie was sent home that day.

After that, she was still beaten, but when the teacher hit her, he always stayed far away for fear of being spit on again.

When Meggie first went to school, her eldest brother Frank was already 17 years old and wanted to go out to serve as a soldier, but he was the only one in the family who could help Paddy with work, and the family needed his help to make money.

The father and son had a quarrel, and Frank left angrily, but he was brought back by the police just three days later.

The failure of this escape made Frank ashamed and embarrassed, like a vibrant bird being driven back from the vast sky, its wings were clipped, and its song was swallowed up by the vast silence.

This family is tied to each other in order to survive, just like many families in this world.

But this life did not last forever. Paddy’s distant sister Mary sent him a letter. She was old and needed an heir, and Paddy was the lucky heir.

In this way, the Meggie family arrived in Australia and started a new life.

In Australia, Father Ralph saw Meggie for the first time and was deeply attracted to this cute little girl. The love affair that had been entangled for decades began.

After that, Ralph often visited Meggie. He was like a friend, chatting with her and answering all kinds of strange questions she had.

And 10-year-old Meggie has also grown up day by day under the baptism of time. She also admires Father Ralph more and more, just like she admires her elder brother Frank.

But Frank left again. He told Meggie that he was going to take a boxing class. Frank left for many, many years. When he came back, he had changed.

Life is always full of accidents, and some partings last a lifetime.

The promised future is long, but maybe the reunion will be indefinite.

Therefore, when you can cherish it, cherish it; when you can’t, just bless it.

In this way, the acquaintance and companionship are not in vain.

03

As Meggie grew up, she became her mother’s best helper. Without Meggie, her mother couldn’t even do things well.

Father Ralph also silently grew up with Meggie.

In the blink of an eye, Meggie turned 15 years old. She grew up into a beautiful girl, but she didn’t understand her body at all. Even when she was menstruating, Meggie didn’t know. Seeing the blood flowing out of her lower body, Meggie still… I thought I had a terminal illness.

She was terrified, terrified, and thought she was terminally ill.

Unknowingly, Meggie became the most important person to Ralph, and Ralph, the gentle, wise and loving Ralph, also captured Meggie’s love.

Ralph longed for love and had hoped for it countless times in his heart. He loved Meggie and wanted to be with her, but many things in reality were binding him.

The first thing that binds him is his identity. He is a priest. His love for God must surpass everything else. He cannot betray the love of God for the sake of love.

This concept built an impenetrable cage in Ralph’s mind.

Secondly, there is the dream. He wants to make greater achievements in the work of the priests. To this end, he does not hesitate to please Mary because she is rich and influential. With her help, he can realize his dream and reach a higher level. s position.

This thing is another kind of cage, equally unbreakable.

So Ralph’s love soon faced a huge test. Before Mary died, she gave Ralph a dilemma.

Mary had originally made a will, leaving all her property to her brother, but seeing how passionately Ralph loved Meggie, Mary played a prank that tested human nature. She made two wills, one of which… All the property was given to Ralph, allowing him to realize his dream in one leap.

But Ralph must make his own choices, must read his will himself.

If he accepted Mary’s property, it would be equivalent to appropriating the wealth that originally belonged to Meggie. This would be a spiritual betrayal of Meggie.

However, if he gives up his property, he may not be able to realize his dream for the rest of his life. This is a betrayal of his own dream and a betrayal of God.

Either betray Meggie or betray the dream.

Ralph chose to betray Meggie, and from then on, he felt that his soul bowed his head in front of Meggie.

04

The Meggie family did not receive an inheritance, but they did receive an annual gift that was enough to keep them stable.

Ralph used the fortune Mary gave him to become a cardinal.

Ralph once asked Mary why she hated Meggie so much.

Mary said: Because you love her.

Ralph explained then that she was the child I would never have, a rose in my life, an ideal, just an ideal.

Since becoming archbishop, Ralph has hidden his love deeply in his heart. Meggie writes to him, and he occasionally replies. The wording is exquisite and there is nothing unreasonable, as if God is looking at the world with mercy.

Meggie also loves Ralph, but she also understands that Ralph is a priest and her love will destroy him, so she dare not imagine such a love.

Ralph felt like he was in hell inside.

Meggie’s heart also felt like it was being burned in a fire.

Ralph even hoped that Meggie would quickly find the man of her dreams and start a happy family.

But when he thought like this, his heart felt so painful because he loved Meggie so much.

After Ralph left, a young man appeared next to Meggie. Meggie was attracted to him because he looked so much like Ralph.

This young man’s name was Luke. He only wanted to get rich and own his own farm. When he discovered that Meggie’s family was well-off, he thought that marrying this girl would save him some detours.

He pursues Meggie and strives to bring out the best in him.

Eventually, Meggie married Luke.

But after marrying Luke, she truly understood that Luke was a very vulgar person. He only had money in his eyes, and he didn’t care about his wife, and even ignored her illness, letting her live in the worst place.

He always told Meggie that if she had to endure it for a few more years, when he made enough money, she would be the farmer’s wife.

As time passed, Meggie understood that she and Luke were not the same person at all, and there was no way they could live together.

She longed for family life, so she married Luke before she could truly see her heart.

She regretted it.

Only then did she realize that the one she loved with all her heart was Father Ralph.

The more she loves him, the more she hates him sometimes, because the reason why she lives in such pain is because she loves him.

In this world, no love is easy.

Love is salvation, but before salvation comes, there will be more pain.

05

Meggie always wanted a child, Luke didn’t.

But they still had a daughter, whom Meggie named Justine.

When Luke saw that a daughter was born, he was not happy at all, but felt extremely unlucky.

In Luke’s eyes, girls are of no use at all. They can only make a man poor, and when they grow up, they will work for others.

However, when he thought this, he didn’t know if he had ever thought that he also fell from a woman.

After the child was born, Meggie gradually gave up on Luke and went on a trip. During the trip, she met Father Ralph.

On a strange island, there is no acquaintance, no God, no betrayal. He is 45 years old, and she is 26 years old.

It has been 16 years, 16 long years, and he has always loved him.

But this kind of love is like a burden.

Ralph suddenly realized that neither of them were children anymore, but he was still far from mature.

Once, even though Meggie had grown up, he still saw her as a child. That was because his goal was not to become a man, but to become a great priest.

So over the years, they had loved each other completely contradictoryly, and he finally understood that Meggie defeated God, defeated dreams, and even defeated Ralph.

They had a natural relationship, and Meggie felt that she had finally found the man she loved.

Two words appeared in her mind, happiness.

It was as if I had never seen the world before.

The previous world is not our world, this is our world as long as it lasts.

I have never been so happy, or rather, I have never been so unhappy.

I will leave Luke and go back to Drogheda. There are only two places in the world where you are mine more than God is, here and on Drogheda.

Love is not easy to get, but some things are always easy to lose.

This is fate, what should be given to you will be given to you, and what should be taken away will be taken away without hesitation.

06

Ralph was gone, back to God.

Meggie left, too, and returned to Luke.

She knew that there was another life in her belly, and it was Ralph’s child, but she couldn’t let Ralph know, and she didn’t want others to know either.

So Luke was her excuse to hide it.

It hated Luke and didn’t want to have a relationship with Luke, but in order to hide it, she still endured her dislike and slept with Luke.

Then she left and returned to Drogheda, to her mother.

She named her newborn son Dane. Dane grew up day by day. He was a kind and spiritual child. He liked the church and loved church work.

He had grown into a big boy, a little like Ralph and a little like Meggie, a combination of the two of them.

Talking about his future, Dane said:

I didn’t want a wife and children, I thought about it, but I couldn’t do it because there wasn’t enough room to love them and love God at the same time, and that wasn’t the way I wanted to love God.

He also said that the older you get, the deeper your love for God becomes.

Meggie suddenly understood that Dane belonged to Ralph, and they both loved God more than anything in the world.

She also understood that he was the light of her life and her son, and he must not be tortured because of her.

Meggie tells Dane that she is sending him to Ralph.

This excited Dane because Ralph was his role model, the perfect priest in his mind.

Later, Dane also became a priest, determined to dedicate himself to God.

However, during a sea rescue, Dane sacrificed his life to save several women who fell into the water. He gave himself back to God.

Meggie told Ralph that Dane was his son only after Dane died.

Meggie said:

What I have stolen I will give back.

Today, Dane belongs to no one but God.

Meggie has always loved Ralph, but her love is not possession, but fulfillment. She fulfills Ralph’s dream and makes him a perfect priest.

Ralph also let go of Meggie. He was no longer tortured by this love, and he finally found peace.

Love is companionship, but not possession.

Possession is selfish, but giving is great.

07

Meggie’s daughter Justine has always dreamed of becoming an actress.

Later, she became an actress.

She can play love, but she doesn’t know how to love. When facing people who love her deeply, she will also inadvertently hurt others.

There are all kinds of education in life, but no one teaches us how to love.

Of course, love cannot be taught. Love is love and cannot be taught.

Justine went round and round and finally found happiness. She sent a telegram to Meggie:

She had just become Mrs. Wren.

Meggie read the telegram, put it on the table, and stared through the window at the roses blooming everywhere in the garden.

The garden is fragrant and fragrant. Watching the little things grow into big ones, change and wither, and new little things begin the same endless cycle of life and growth.

The time here ends, our time ends, and the cycle begins again with a new generation.

The bird has thorns on its chest, and it obeys an unchangeable law.

She was pierced by something unknown, driven, and died singing.

At the moment when the thorns penetrated her, she did not realize that death was coming. She just sang and sang until her life ran out and she could no longer sing a note.

But we know it when we have a thorn in our chest. We know it clearly. However, we still have to do it. We still have thorns in our chests.

It’s all my fault and I don’t blame anyone. I can’t regret it for a moment.

Indeed, everything is our own choice. In order to live a better life, we always have to bear some heavyness and pain.

You have to pay a lot to get a very good love. Sometimes we may go through many tests before we meet it, but when we meet it, you will know that everything is worth it.

08

This book seems to tell a love story, but in fact, when we read it, we can also see a person’s fate.

The so-called fate means that when some things come, we cannot refuse, and when some things go, we cannot keep them, such as when to live and when to die.

This is the fate that hangs over our heads. We have no choice or escape. We can only accept it and face the impermanence and unknown of fate with a calmer attitude.

But under destiny, we must remember that no matter when, we can choose, choose what we do, choose how to live, choose how to love.

In fact, it is our own choices that determine what kind of life we ​​will have.

I believe that everyone does not come to this world to live a messy life. We all want to arrange our lives better, let ourselves live more like ourselves, and live our lives how we like.

For these goals, we must make choices and dare to set out.

If we give up choice and change, then our life will really be hopeless.

There is a saying in “The Thorn Birds”:

Give us a breathing space before we die, a space to reflect on what we have done.

I think, not only before death, we should give an independent space after a period of time to reflect on our own life and whether it is closer to what we like.

Socrates said:

An unexamined life is not worth living.

Once we lack scrutiny, life may become numb, life may become repetitive, and our thinking may become rigid.

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