Many years ago, flowing in the river of time, there was a human. He was tall and fairly skinny. His long hair and long beard were turning gray. On his back, he carried a faded blue backpack. His facial expression, dull and vague. He was walking. He was walking through a field of grain. His gaze was always forward. Never down at his feet. Never to his sides, or up to the blue sky above. Forward. Directly to the far horizon before his eyes.
On the day of our story, he was walking until dusk, when the setting sun dazzled him, and he had no choice but to stop for a moment. He stood there in the middle of the grain field. Grain. Growing, green, fresh, all around. For the first time in his long life, he diverted his gaze down. Uncomfortably noticing, he was walking in the same place. And that under his feet, the green, fresh grains were all crushed.
He lowered his head, saddened. All he could ask himself was, “how can I get out of here?” He looked for the field’s nearest edge, thinking he would make his most gigantic leaps. Thinking he would try to step on the stems of the growing green grain as little as possible. And so he leaped, and leaped, and leaped, but the field of growing, fresh grain stayed just as big. The leaps did not take him any closer to the edge of the field, to clear ground.
The human stood still, crying for help, not knowing what to do next. His legs started to shake slightly, deepening their hold within the earth below. He felt his legs being pulled down into the ground. Deep, deep down. The earth was warm, inviting, smelling fresh and new, and it opened and gently guided him within until he found himself standing in a big beautiful cave. And in the cave, there was a stream of pure water. And on the other side of the stream, children were playing.
“What are you doing here?” The children looked at him and asked. He did not know the answer to their question, so he shared his story. His story of walking. His story of walking in the fields of grain, green, growing, and fresh. His story of finding he is walking in the same place and trying to find his way out without crushing any more stems. Leaping, leaping, leaping. His story of the earth, warm and inviting, opening and guiding him in. Into this beautiful cave.
The children wondered about the aim of his visit. Then, a small child, young in his years, came forward and said: “For me, you came.” The human and the child looked one into the eyes of the other, drowning in the pure reflection of the stream until they became one. “Truly. For you, I came. And I did not even know you were lost”. “It is my time to go now,” said the child, hugging all of his friends. Then, he jumped over the stream directly into the human’s heart. The human, surprised, found he expanded. His heart widened. He hugged the small child who had just jumped in.
An opening emerged at one end of the cave, and light came in from afar. The human waved goodbye to the playing children, expressing his gratitude for their welcoming hospitality, and walked through a tunnel in the cave towards the light. He climbed some rocks, went down again until he reached the cave’s opening. The child said to him, “you must protect me. I have not seen the light of the sun for many long years.” The human wondered and asked, “How come? And you are all made of radiant, glowing, shiny light”. “I have been hiding,” said the child. “I have been hiding from the voice of a shout, from insecurity and lack of trust. I have been hiding from ignorance and the bad power of words. I have been hiding from the uncertainty of knowing whether we will have a piece of bread for breakfast or not. I have been hiding from our mother’s illness, from our father’s hard days”. The human was silent. “I will protect you,” he promised. He covered them both with a scarf of love and took a few steps outside into a shaded area.
“Would you like to look around?” The human asked the little child. The child opened his eyes and glanced outside. His heart expanded from the beauty of the world: flowers and green, birds and butterflies, prosperity and abundance, giving, sharing, and a reaching hand: purity and innocence. His heart was whole. Their heart was whole.
Many years ago, flowing in the river of time, there was a human. He was tall and fairly skinny. His long hair and long beard, turning gray. On his back, he carried a faded blue backpack. A smile on his face. The man was walking. Slowly walking. Not minding, he does not know where. He makes sure not to harm any stems of grain or others on his way. To stop where he can reach out a hand. Sometimes he sleeps under the branches of an old tree, hearing the tree’s stories through his heart. Sometimes he stops in a village and joins its people in their work. And when he is not sure of the way, when he finds himself at a crossroad, he stops, he takes some deep breaths, he sits as long as it takes, reaching his roots deep into the earth, and his branches up into the sky, and he then asks the child of light, who is him himself, who he did not know he lost, who returned to him within the cave, where to turn now. Sometimes this new road is paved, abundant with fruit growing by its sides, and good clear water flowing in the streams along its sides. Sometimes, it is a steep path, inviting a climb on a high mountain. He is grateful for the paved one. He is grateful for the steep one. He is walking his path. And evermore, he is not walking it alone. He himself, his essence, his light, is walking with him. Together, they always know the way.