Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Own Little Traveling Guide

There was once a King who decided to hold a contest. He gathered everyone in his kingdom together at a certain place on a certain road that led to his castle and announced that he would give a great prize to the person who traveled the road the best.

Each person tried to outdo the next in creativity, strength and agility – dancing, spinning, walking on their hands, cart wheeling and hand springing… They created outrageous bicycles and other wheeled contraptions. They all did their very best - even when, one by one, they came upon a large pile of dirt and rocks in the middle of the road that they had to stop and climb over.

As every person reached the castle the King asked them how their journey down the road had been. And every person answered the same way – it was great except for that annoying pile of rubble in the way.

The King threw a feast for all who had participated and as the celebration was coming to a close, in walked one lone straggler – a young man, tired and hungry, hours later than the rest. In his arms he carried a large wooden chest. The king asked him what had taken him so long and he apologized for being late, explained that there had been a pile of rubble in the road that he had stopped to clean up. He had found the chest under the rocks and had come to return it to its rightful owner.

The king stopped the festivities - announcing to the crowd that this young man had won the prize, a chest full of gold, because “He who travels the road best is the one who makes it better for those that come after him.”

I think that’s what Life is all about – making the road safer and happier for those that follow. And I know it’s what I have committed my existence to  – not because I think I am super special or am after any sort of prize but because I really believe that is how I am to live my life. I have navigated ridiculously treacherous terrain, as have many of us, and I think that all any of us can do is to share where we are and where we have been with others that are traveling on the same road and do our best to make the journey safer and better for them. Just doing our simple best to ease the hearts of fellow travelers who feel the same pain we have felt and are climbing over the same obstacles we have – that’s all.

At times I have done my road clearing from an army tank, other times from a clown car. Now I find myself traveling in a polka dotted tank covered in hippie signs and Namaste bumper stickers that shoots bubbles and sunflowers and chocolate kisses. And occasional shots of Tequila.