Goodness I actually realise that while I spent a huge amount of time with my Guides listening to their wisdom and the learning that comes in between, I usually don’t stop long enough to share it with others. If you thought they stopped telling me Parables, then you would be wrong. I love stories, have since I was little and Aho, my current Guide who is teaching me of “Compassion of Self” is very good with stories. Also his name is Japanese and means “idiot”, another story completely as Aho and I had a life together where he was born sickly, and blind due to a mother addicted to Opium and a Grandmother who refused to give up on him, teaching him wisdom and unconditional love. It amazes me the depths of love we have for each other if we can just get out of our own way. That story belongs to another day, but I am so grateful for all his wisdom and the Parables that make you think. Aho, I am blessed, grateful and delighted to share.
A long time ago into the depths of the mountains in China, a young man dreamed of the sea. He did not really know what the sea was, but in his dream it felt like it was a wondrous thing, rhythmic and vast, bigger than any lake or stream that he had seen in his small village life and he longed with a deep abiding drive that he simply did not understand to see something that consumed his dreams.
When he was 17 he told his father, he would not tend the small plot in the village, that a wanderlust deep in his soul was pushing him and he needed to go and see if what he dreamed was real and as wonderful as what he thought. The father was saddened but having spent years listening to his son talk of nothing else, of something so vast yet unseen. He knew that to regain his son he would have to let him go. With a heavy heart he helped the young man pack a cloth knapsack of dried foods, rices and walked him to the edge of the small mountain village. “Go well, my son” he said as he hugged him tight to his chest for a moment. “I truly hope you return to tell me you have found what you sought.” The young man looked at his bare feet for a moment and then said to his father. “Thank you, for understanding my need.”
He set out of the village and headed down through the valley, learning as he went and weathering the pathways carved by many travelers before. He had been travelling through villages for many months when he came to a busy village and he stopped with weary feet and approached a man for work. “May I help in your shop for a meal and some time to spend, as I am on a journey to find the sea.” The man surveyed the young man, liking his stance and his honesty and he agreed. The young man worked very hard through the day and impressed the older man took him home to meet his family. Upon introducing his daughter to the young man, he was immediately aware of the spark between the two and he smiled. He thought this traveler may be very good for his stubborn, choosy daughter. He left them talking and went to bed. The young man remained with the family for four weeks, enough to fall in love with the young woman but the dreams continued and he regretfully declined the offer from her father for her hand and leaving a tearful young woman, who he vowed he would return to. He continued on his journey across the lands in search of his dream.
The months passed again and he came across a farmer planting in the early spring and offered again his services in payment for food and lodging. The farmer initially distrustful, agreed if the young man helped him plant the field, he would indeed feed and shelter him. They worked solidly and soon they had finished. The farmer delighted with the days work and the diligent speed of the young man, took him to the house and fed him well. That night he asked the young man to stay and work for him until the harvest of the field and he would pay him with half of the reward of the crop. The young man shook his head and explained he had been on the road for months and months in his quest. No offer from the kindly farmer could sway him for long and a week later he was on the road again.
Many times the young man through his diligence, honesty was offered food, reward and even presented with an interesting offer in one village of going on a quest with another man to seek a cave of riches of which the man offered to share with him. He turned all of them down and continued on his quest for the sea.
He finally after a year of travelling arrived at a seaside village. The smell of the sea was in the air and it was everything that he had dreamed of. He sat for hours just taking in the sights and the sounds, in awe of the reality of what he had dreamed of for so very long. The sea crashes gently on the shore, rhythmic and vast, relentless in its caressing of the land. The young man stayed for many months by the sea, watching her every day, the changes but also the relentless persistence of her and he came to an understanding within himself. Finally he said to the fishermen that he had been working with. “It is time I went home.” They were saddened to see him leave but Fishermen understand that restlessness is often a trait of those who are drawn to the sea and they simply nodded.
They helped him pack, older and wiser, for two years had passed since he had left his home village. He turned and headed back the way he had come. There was now a spring in his step as he retraced his tracks and headed back. He had accomplished what he needed to do and he was content to continue back to a settled life. Thoughts of the young woman came to his mind constantly and pushed him further away from the sea shores.
The first village he came across he was welcomed back with open arms, they recognised him even though such time had passed. It was the village of the man of the quest for the cave of riches and he found the man in a tavern, dressed immaculately and dining on the best food. The young man approached him. “I have completed my quest, if you wish I have time now to help you on your quest”. The older man looked at him slightly confused. “But I needed you to help me on the quest months and months ago. I have already been and found the cave and the treasures were there. I am sorry, my friend, I have no need of your help.” He clapped the young man on the back and brought him an opulent meal and wished him well on the way. The young man was slightly disappointed because he would have liked to take the wealth to the young woman. He rested for the night in the village and headed out early the next day.
He traveled, and traveled, walking days and nights and came to the village where the farmer was. He knocked on the farmers door and it was pulled open. The farmer delighted pulled the young man in, questioning of his travels and did he get what he needed from the quest. The young man smiled. “I did but I wondered if you needed me to help with the crops for a time, and if the offer still remained for a share of the tended yield?” The farmer shook his head sadly. “I am sorry, that crop was amazing that year, I am very set up, I have no need to work as hard as I did. I thank you for your offer and 12 months ago I would have taken you in. However, it is different now and soon I shall be retiring in the village for a peaceful life. Go well in your life, I am sure you will do well.” Again the young man was a little disappointed to not be able to take the young woman any finances or reward, stayed with his farmer friend for a couple of days and then traveled again for months on his way back home.
He reached the village of the young woman and his heart was bursting with delight. He brought some simple flowers and knocked on the shop keepers door. The young woman with her hair up in a bun, opened the door and gasped in shock. The young man sank to his knees and held up the flowers. “I am back, beautiful girl, will you marry me and return with me to my village in the mountains?” The young woman burst into tears, holding on to the bump on the front of her. “I am so sorry” she sobbed “I did not believe after a year that you would return with no word, no message, it gave me no hope. I have married another and carry his child.” She fled from the door into the depths of the shop and the father came forward and placed a hand on the young man’s arm. “She mourned you terribly” he said, “then the arms of another gave her solace and hope. Safe travels’ He shut the door gently in front of the young man.
The young man was devastated with the loss and determinedly traveled, hardly sleeping or eating in his grief and finally made it up the mountain pass to his village. He was thin, weak and drained in his grief. His family delighted with him being back could not believe the changes in him. The father said to him once he had recovered for a couple of days. “My son, was the journey so bad that you return as you are. Half the man, disillusioned, passion gone and grief stricken?” The young man replied. “Father, in my quest, my determination to get to what I thought was my destination, I missed opportunity after opportunity. I came to realise that life is like the ocean. Comes in ebbs and waves. If the opportunity is not taken, it is like it is written in sad, disappearing in the next wave, never to appear again. My mistake was not realising that what I sought was not a physical thing, but the ebbs and tides of the waves of my life and the joy that it would bring.”
The father clapped the son wisely on the shoulder. “Your wisdom is great my son, vast as an ocean. What will you do now?” The son looked deeply into his fathers eyes. “I will be like the tide, persistent, caressing, seeking grains of truth in all I do. I will BE the journey not just take the journey this time.”
Aho, thank you, it is indeed a truth, we think we are on a journey, but we are the journey and the opportunity always is within us to be all we can be.