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One

The young man sat on the edge of a limestone pavement in a forest glade facing the early afternoon sun. Not summer but warm and comfortable enough to wear shorts and a T-shirt. He grounded himself to the earth and connected with the cosmic energy. His aura glowed a brilliant orange as he focused on a bulbous knot on the trunk of an ancient oak at the edge of the glade.

A long breath in through the nose filled his lungs, he closed his eyes gently, releasing the breath. His focus behind the eyes strong, he shifted his attention to the third eye. Locked to the earth with a thundering waterfall from his root chakra, thoughts of past, present and future faded away.

“I am one with my body. One with the earth.”

He repeated the mantra as though following a guide. Allowing the final word to drift away when his attention shifted to a tiny pebble on the palm of his left hand. The column of cosmic energy mingled with earth energy and warmed the pebble, moving it slightly. His right hand moved across and palm-down, hovered over the left palm, enclosing the pebble in a ball of dynamic energy.

In that moment he connected and smiled; he sent the energy to somebody in need, opened his eyes and saw his old friend leaning against the ancient oak.

“Hello my old friend. What is it today? Something always presents when we meet.”

“Tell me the story of when you met your love.”

The young man smiled, his look far away in a happy place.

“Lost in a crowd, she noticed me and directed me to where I needed to be.”

“Where was that place?”

“Well, it was a simple dining hall on a university campus. I didn’t realise that it was far more until our hands unintentionally touched. A spark of energy exploded through my body and in the instant it lasted, I knew I must never let her go.”

“It was a profound moment my young friend.”

“That was only the beginning. Within a few hours I met another woman who told the same family history story as my own and we share the same family name. That was special, but nothing compared to what followed.

My love and I sat on a hill later that night. We watched a spectacular show of shooting stars. During that show we opened our hearts and shared our deepest feelings, hopes and desires. Despite present circumstances, we both understood our meeting was absolutely right.”

“What about the other woman? The one with who you share a name.”

“Born on the opposite side of the world and raised in a culture completely different from my own. Yet we came to know one another as though we had always been friends. I can’t explain what brought us together and how, despite living far away and in completely different lives, our connection remains unshakable after more than twenty years.”

“Synchronicity; sometimes the universe conspires to synchronise events such as meeting your friend and your ‘love.’ There is nothing to explain.”

“On this I agree without reservation.”

Unconditional

Following a dry-stone wall on a beautiful spring day, the old man took a sharp right turn into an enclosure. On first impressions, the young man thought they had stepped into a cemetery until the old man directed his friend toward one of many standing stones. Out of respect for the dead, the young man was careful not to stand on the area in front of each stone. The old man laughed gently.

“There are no corpses beneath this earth my friend.”

“Is this not a cemetery?”

“Look closely.”

The young man glanced around. It was a peaceful, rural location with a few trees showing young leaves. Bluebells covered most of the ground and where they left space, tulips and fresh green grass thrived. A storybook scene; blue sky, comfortable sunshine and a hint of a breeze. A perfect place to meditate or spend time with a friend.

At last, the young mans’ eyes fell upon the closest stone. “It reads like a reminiscence of a particular event.”

“Exactly that. Do you recognize the event described on this stone?”

The young man read the words. Silently at first and then again out-loud.

“She handed him the baby,” the young man hesitated and took a deep breath. “He accepted her carefully and with difficulty. The oxygen tube got in the way, she moved it. Even the weight of a baby not two months old was difficult to hold.”

He swallowed, tearfully and looked at his old friend.

“It reminds me of a life-event. I was in a hospital and spent two months there.”

“Now you are well my young friend. Why does it hurt so much? It’s in the past.”

“Five children under the age of ten and we lived in a house two long bus journeys away from the hospital. Getting them to school and nursery involved four miles of walking, twice each day. The shops were another three miles round trip in the opposite direction. Nobody offered help, not really. So, she gave everything and didn’t give up on ‘us,’ not for a moment.”

Resting a hand on the old mans’ shoulder, he looked into his eyes.

“Why do you punish me with a reminder of this?”

“We all have a space where memories, good, bad and seemingly indifferent reside. This is yours and it was your choice to come here.”

“I wasn’t aware of any choice.”

“They are your memories. It’s up to you to dwell upon them or, take what you can and move on with your life.”

“I felt so guilty and useless laying there.”

“Regardless, she gave you her unconditional love. Accept that, it’s all you need.”

The young man smiled like it might eclipse the sun and faded away into the glow.

Father’s Footsteps

The young man followed the same trail between two mountains for the greater part of the day. He seemed none closer to the goal on the distant mountain.

“Where are you when I need you my old friend? This is an impossible journey, I would value your opinion right now.”

Halting, he cocked his head to the left and listened. Apart from the gentle shush of the wind blowing through dry grasses, over shale and between antediluvian rocks, there was nothing to hear. The young man resumed the journey trodden by familial generations of men.

“You are tired my young friend, rest on this rock.”

Looking for the voice, the young man miscalculated a step and fell headlong toward the seat. Not a seat but impeccably carved by the ever-transmuting direction of the winds into something that looked comfortable. He brushed himself down, sucking snow and grit from a graze on his palm.

“That hurt! You surprised me. Where were you when I called?”

The timbre of the old man’s voice was wondrous to hear. Opulent and full of expression, overflowing with love.

“I worried when you didn’t answer.”

“Why? You know who I am and that I will never leave.”

The younger man paused, taking deep breaths, slowing thoughts, easing worries.

“This is an arduous path my friend. What brought you here?”

“Oh, generations of forebears have followed this path. It is expected that I do the same.”

“You don’t sound thrilled with this quest young man.”

“Thrilled or not, It’s the path I must follow.”

“Then why call me? Decision made, the path clear. There is nothing I can offer.”

“The goal at the end of this path seems farther away. I’ve been walking constantly and making no headway.”

“Are you certain this path is yours to follow?”

“I know the route by heart. My father taught it as soon as I understood his words.”

“This is his path and his ancestors. If they followed their true paths.”

“If I don’t do this, the business will fail. Years of hard work, lost.”

“So, find a buyer. There is an alternative route to the mountain over there just beneath this ridge to the left. You won’t be walking in your father’s footsteps but close enough to consider his experience.”

The wind changed, the young man stood. With the new wind following, he smiled at his father and felt the exhilaration of the emerging route turn in his stomach.

Is This Love?

“Do you know what love is?”

“Yes, I believe I do.” The young man sounded confident when he answered his old friend. They sat near the summit of a desert mountain.

“Very well; give me your definition of love.”

“It is an intense feeling of affection toward other human beings. True love is about accepting their individuality.”

“But what about you my young friend? What’s in it for you?”

“Loving is payment enough; if any payment is necessary.”

“But if you love somebody, should they not return the love?”

“I love many people in different ways. Some are unaware that I love them. Therefore, they cannot return my love, nor would I expect it.”

“Where do you think this begins?”

“Love is preinstalled. None arrive on this planet without it. It’s said the universe vibrates to the frequency of love.”

“So why do humans fight my friend?”

“Our birth families follow religious practices and ascribe to particular beliefs. Some follow none. We mimic their ways and the world outside. To be better, do better. We become part of a great race and forget the one truth. You have taught me these things my old friend.”

“I tell you only what is. What about those who harm others because of the beliefs they love?”

“You cannot love a belief, only another living creature. But sometimes, people love others because their lives have led them to identify with harmful beliefs.”

“Yes my  young friend, the mind is like a glass of water. Mix in the beliefs of society, agitate and it becomes difficult to see. Leave it to settle and all becomes clear.”

“That’s why this desert solitude is so special. Here I connect with the truth, nothing here reminds me of those things that bring pain and hate to the world.”

“You love this place?”

“Because it reminds me of love.”

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