Today’s Guest Author is Ian, who has offered the following tale as his first thread-starter. Ian, thank you. Your wisdom has helped me so often, and your words today have given me refreshment and hope. I hope other readers have a similar experience.
(Photo credit: © Gernot Heiser and Trudy Weibel 2007)
Once, long ago, I met an old man at a billabong. I was there to catch a fat barramundi. He, to reflect on the loss of his wife. She had passed, peacefully, some time before. He never said when. It was me who assumed it was recent. It was me that assumed he was sad in his grief. He told me his story:
I always come to this place. As a boy, as a young fella. As a man. This waterhole is me. Memories, as deep as my soul and beyond, come to me here. Memories that give me the strength, not to lift a heavy rock, but to move the mountain. I see with a clarity that understands that the shadows of past can and must shed light on the future. I saw and felt none of this until I saw her.
I was sitting on the rock you’re on now. Like you, I too, was after a fat barramundi. I had more success than you’re going to have. The day was warm, balmy, a hint of breeze. The kind of day when leaves gently sing, lizards skitter about on their most urgent business, lethargic birds perch and doze and fat, sleepy barra leave the live bait to their fate. I must have drifted into a light, warm snooze, because a splash woke me. I thought maybe a big barra was on the prowl, but it was her.
Never before had I understood what the old women and men meant when they talked of the purity of beauty. The shining light of innocence. The strength of heart, the depth of soul. All this came to me in the first glance. I was overwhelmed. Emotions flooded to the fore. Most I understood, some I didn’t. All were necessary. I understood then that an ego that ensures a closed mind could never fill an empty heart. Only a light can do that. A bright light. A pure light.
I left her to her privacy. I went home. I was a changed man. I proposed to the girl I loved. We had a wonderful life and at times, together, or with the children, we spent many happy times here. I always waited, for just an extra couple of minutes before leaving, to see if the she’d appear. She never did.
I just wanted to thank her for showing me how strength can move a mountain, yet struggle with a rock. How battles can never be won with tactics and weapons alone. The heart, the soul, the essence of your quest are just as essential. How the gentlest of us can also be the strongest.
How can a glimpse of strength change a life? Simple.
If you have the strength to love and accept love honestly there are no mountains, no darkness and no fear.
A woman with red hair taught me that a long time ago.
(Photo credit: Nitmiluk Tours Pty Ltd)