(Author’s note: Whether it be for individual therapy, family therapy, or couple’s therapy…when I meet with Clients to hear their stories, I listen carefully for their hearts. There are wounds and joy, uplift and deep descent, bouyancy and fear manifested and held by their pink, warm, amazing hearts. The story below is a small wish that each leaf of darkness that floats in the rivers of their hearts, will eventually pass around the bend and out of sight.)
“The pilgrim sat in the high mountain meadow, next to the meandering stream. he became focused on the interplay of the sun’s light on the riffles and small waves of the stream. The word that arose in his heart was ‘beauty’. He then noticed that a single leaf floated into his view, on it’s way downstream. And resting on that leaf, was the collective weight of every foe and enemy that the Pilgrim had ever experienced. Fear and anger arose in the Pilgrim’s heart as he considered how he had been violated and betrayed. The leaf floated around the downstream bend and passed from the Pilgrim’s sight.
The PIlgrim’s mind returned to the river in front of him, where he noticed the dance of water insects in perfect surface tension. And the word that arose in his heart was ‘harmony’. He then noticed another single leaf come into his view, on it’s way downstream. Resting upon that leaf were the memories of the Pilgrim’s missed opportunities through all his years on the earth. Regret and shame, like hot fires, arose in the Pilgrim’s heart. He felt the burning wound of not having been more productive. The leaf floated around the downstream bend, paused momentarily in an eddy and passed from the Pilgrim’s sight.
For two hours, the Pilgrim sat in the high mountain meadow. And life became an alternating flux between the beauty of the stream bathing his heart in joy, and the deep wounded part of the Pilgrim’s heart. It was a place where the regret of past ugliness and the fear of his future sought to rip him apart.
And every leaf that came into view, in turn, passed around the bend and out of sight. Neither lasting forever, nor having the strength to resist the power and the beauty of the stream. The Pilgrim smiled to himself, to know that all internal pain and suffering eventually pass around the bend and out of view. And when they do thusly, he was always left with the beauty of the river.
He got up and walked home.”
Jeffrey Post-Holmberg is a contributing writer for River Notes Blog on the Two Rivers Counseling website. He is finding it increasingly difficult to remember all of the high mountain meadows he has sat in, on our little green planet. When he is not busy trying to recall the meadows, he is busy being a Poppa for his son and two daughters. And always in his heart, a third daughter, the first born, an old soul who has passed into the mists.