Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The moral of the story is ...

Last night, at one point in my dreams, I went up to the top of a mountain and sat under a tree. It was a barren mountain, akin to the one in the above image. I'm not sure of the location, but it felt like Greece or Jerusalem.

I can't recall why I went there, but I was content. At one point I saw a man approaching. He was what we would call a dangerous, mad vagrant—wiry and wild-eyed, wearing layers of clothing that were leathery with years of caked dirt, wielding a rusty 12-inch knife.

Being alone on the mountain with no one to hear me if I called for help, my first instinct was to run. But something made me stay. I stood as still as the tree, looking at him directly as he headed for me. He stopped before me, shoved his knife into a leather sheath, said something (can't remember what) and stuck out his hand to shake mine. It was a strong, firm, congratulatory grip. I felt that I had passed a Courage test.

Now that I'm writing about this, it reminds me of a story I read ages ago, about an old couple living in a Greek village. One day two beggars came to their door and asked them to stay for the night, as they had nowhere else to go and were hungry and tired. The old man and his wife, who were very poor, welcomed them in. They killed their beloved pet goose to feed the beggars and gave them their bed, while they slept on the cold floor.

The next morning when the old people woke up, two large, glowing Angels were with them in their hut. The old couple's kindness had caused the beggars to reveal their true identity. They told the old couple that everyone else in the village had rejected them. As a result, the floods that were coming would drown everyone, but the old couple would be saved. The Angels told the couple they could have anything they wanted—a huge house, lots of money, a comfortable bed, the best food. Just ask.

The old couple didn't want any of those things. Their only request was that they be allowed to die together. Due to their love, one did not want to die before the other and leave the Beloved behind. The Angels granted their request by turning them into two trees which grew intertwined and, according to the legend, can still be seen in Greece today.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Beautiful Story :)
And congratulation son passing the courage 'test' :)