Two travelers – both wanderers – were hiking the same forest, though they didn’t know the other was there. One came from the city, full of hustle and bustle. And the other came from the country, full of farms and small town life.
It’s hard to say why they both had travelled so far to the forest floor, at the exact same time. But they did, and so it is.
What were they looking for? What were they in search of? Peace. Pure nature. Beauty. All of these things, yes. As well as something that was an invisible internal compass that led them to the exact same spot at the exact same time, though neither had planned on being there. At least not consciously.
One came from the north and one came from the south. Though it took them a few weeks to travel that deep into the forest, really, they’d been travelling their entire lives, and just didn’t know it. Somewhere in the middle of all the verdant trees and curious wildlife and crystal blue sky they came upon the very same river.
A magical river.
Let’s just say that if you could picture the perfect place, at the exact right moment in the ideal setting, you’ve barely touched the surface of what they found.
Because what they found was not just a river, but the exact same Source that also flowed inside of the other. There was a moment of instant recognition, and the travelers realized that the very same substance that – at its core – flowed inside the river also flowed inside of them, and between them. Like having a rare blood type and finding not only a flowing source of it from the earth, but in another.
It was a beautiful moment and both of the travelers were overcome with what they’d found. The river itself, and of course each other. In that space they were able to witness their own bodies disappear and become total union with the forest and with the water that was the very essence of who they were and where they came from. In other words, they knew the other was there, in physical form, but all they could see was light.
It was magical.
And for a short period of time, they were able to dance and play by that river and drink it up completely. It changed them. It magnified the magic and beauty inside of them which had perhaps gotten dimmed by life in the city, and even life in the country.
They shared everything there. Their stories, their lives, their pain, their dreams. Nothing was held back. This journey, and its ultimate destination was so much more than they could have ever imagined! It changed them and filled them up with Life and perhaps memories of a time long ago, before they were even in their bodies, when they were the river itself or at the very least, nothing but light.
But while forest time may be eternal, human time does move on, and the travelers each had to get back to life in the city and in the country. You can’t exactly live by the river forever!
Each tried to leave first. But it was hard. Who would want to leave such a beautiful place? The city dweller would say, “I’m going now,” but would not really leave. Then the country dweller would say “Now I truly am going,” only to come right back.
You have to understand that when you find the Source that flows through you, and someone else who carries that exact same blood, it is very, very hard to go. For a brief moment, it can feel nearly impossible to walk away.
But they were running out of food, and the season was changing and the forest was getting too hot to bare, and really, it was time to go.
They said their farewells and expressed their gratitude to the forest and nature spirits for gifting them such a magical reunion with themselves, the River and each other. It was an unexpected gift, one that left them full of love.
But sometimes gifts of such immensity can be hard to receive or understand. And, for some reason, all that beauty can quickly turn to pain and confusion.
Alone at night and during the day the travelers would think of the river and each other, and feel nothing but emptiness and despair. What was in one moment so perfect and pure, had the potential to become nothing but anguish.
Luckily, for some reason they each had pulled a stone out of the river to carry with them, without the other one knowing. And thank goodness they did, because the river started talking to them through that stone, though they were far away from the forest and from each other. Does this seem impossible to you? Trust me, stranger things have happened…
The travelers, each to themselves, would think, “Why has this happened? I will never find that same river again, nor the one who shared the same Source as me. I felt so full. And now all I feel is empty.”
And the river would speak to both of them: “My dear children, a human’s journey is the hardest to travel. Because your entire life you perceive yourself as separate, individual, alone. But in fact, you are connected all the time. That was the beauty of you coming together – to know me and each other.”
And the travelers would speak similar feelings to the River – though one was in the city and one was in the country: “But now all of that is gone. You are gone, my companion is gone and I feel worse than before I even began this journey.”
The river would get quiet during these moments when the travelers’ hearts were closed and full of sadness. There is no entering into another’s heart when it is closed.
A heart must be open and brave to know itself fully and to receive that much LOVE. The river knew this, and knew that sometimes silence is the best medicine, even if at first it is painful.
Because inside the quiet was chance to reflect on the fullness of what had taken place deep on the forest floor. This is exactly what the River had hoped for. Because in the silence, once the travelers pushed past their fears, gorgeous revelations were shown to them, but they had to be willing to sit in the fire first.
Time went on, and, thankfully, the sadness and bitterness softened and the travelers’ hearts began to open, each in their own way, in their own time, as it was meant to be. It was like a flower exploding in their chest and all they could see was the beauty inside of them and around them. Which seemed really peculiar, because not too long ago, all they could see was pain.
Life is funny like that.
And with the explosions of their hearts – one in the city and one in the country – they realized that a seed had been planted in each of them beside the river. Was it in the water they drank? Or inside the stone they carried? Maybe it was something so much deeper that happened in the painful silence between them without them even realizing it. Mother Nature can be sneaky in how She makes a heart bloom.
And when they felt their heart flowers open fully (never to close again) they each wept with tears that were happy (with a tinge of missing the other – they were human after all), only to realize that the tears were the river itself running through them.
They were the river. They had been all along. They’d just forgotten.
And they quietly used those heart-achingly gorgeous flowers to add beauty to their own lives, and to the lives of those around them – in the city and in the country. And it’s no surprise to know that a happy hive of bees emerged in their hearts, pollinating the blooms inside them, doing a dance between them, forever.