Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014 - The Path of Light and the Trickster

Once upon a time, a beautiful young girl lived on the shore of an island that was continually battered with storms and harsh, cold weather.  Her life was hard but it was good, and she worked many hours daily in her fields and with her animals.  The harsh weather often destroyed some of her work, but she always managed to have enough to eat and care for herself.  Still, she never appreciated what she had, and at the end of every day, she would go to the water's edge and look longingly at the island across the waves.  "Tomorrow," she would say to herself, "Tomorrow I will find a way to get there, and then I will have all the riches that island has to offer."  She felt certain life would be simpler on that island and that tomorrow would always be better than today, which she never appreciated.

One evening just before sunset, she heard a man's voice from across the waves inviting her to join him.  She was afraid because she could see no one, but she kept hearing the voice.  At last she responded, saying that she had no way to travel.  "I will lay down a path for you right over the water."  And sure enough, as soon as she had heard it, a brilliant path appeared.  "But you must hurry and stay on the path," the voice said.  She delayed, asking what sort of supper she would have upon her arrival.  And she asked for a fine horse and carriage to meet her at the shore.  And she asked for an eider down quilt, and a beautiful dress, and fine wine.  None of her requests were answered, and she began to worry that maybe the man had gone to a feast ahead of her.

She delayed and she tarried and she worried, all along thinking of more and more riches.  Finally, she threw all caution to the wind and decided to embrace her good fortune.  She set off on the path, gingerly at first, but she found it to be solid and sure.  Then she laughed and skipped along the path, greedily rubbing her hands together, congratulating herself on being so clever.  But just as she reached the middle of the path, the sun dipped below the horizon, and with it the path disappeared.  She suddenly found herself in the middle of a strong current that quickly whisked her out to sea.  She called over and over to the man to come and help her and set out another path.  "Tomorrow," was the final word she heard from him.  And that was the end of the foolish girl from the island who, it seems, had run out of today.

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