On a day when hope runs high and when the world finds itself inspired again, I wish to share another five-year-old post that I had written–my first attempt at writing a fable. This remains one of my favorite works to date.
The Boy, the Man, and the Sky
An imagined conversation by Niña Terol
Reposted from Soul Work (written November 10, 2007)
One evening, the Man asked the Boy, his grandson, to accompany him outdoors. There was a small grassy hill outside their farm, and it was from there that he liked to see the night sky cover the earth like a thick velvet blanket studded with tiny diamonds.
The Boy enjoyed being outdoors and feeling the cool night breeze touch his nape. He enjoyed looking at the stars and trying to name the constellations. (He knew only Orion, the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, and Virgo.)
“When I grow up, I want to be a star,” the Boy declared.
The Man grew sad. “You do not know what it means to be a star,” he said.
“Doesn’t a star shine bright so that he may lead the way for others?” the Boy asked. At least, that’s what his Values teacher told him.
“A star stands alone in the dark night—it is gloomy and bitter-cold, and he is distant from those whom he loves, but he must withstand his loneliness so that others from below may see. When a star shines, it gives and gives of itself, growing hotter and brighter—until, one day, it will explode into a million pieces and cease to be the star that it once was. A star dies so that others may live.”
The Boy understood, and he wept because he wanted even more to be a bright, shining star. The Man knew the meaning of those tears, and he, too, wept because he knew that he will one day lose the Boy, whom he had raised as his own.
* * *
Up in the Heavens, the Evening Star saw the Man and his grandson weeping silently. She felt their pain and turned to the Night Sky.
“Why do they weep?” she asked.
The Night Sky replied, “The Boy weeps because he has found his destiny and knows that he will lose a part of himself in order to pursue it. The Man weeps because he knows that he will someday lose the Boy to something greater than himself.”
“What the boy doesn’t yet understand,” the Night Sky continued, “is that by giving of himself, he is becoming a part of all things—just as your light is inseparable from my darkness, and your glow is what illuminates the world below. You, my dear Evening Star, have died once, but now you live in and through us.”
“And the Man—is there something that he does not yet know?” the Evening Star asked.
The Night Sky did not reply. Instead, he wrapped the Evening Star in a warm embrace. The Heavens fell dark, and neither the Man nor the Boy could see anything.
“The Man needs to realize that it is not for him to keep the Boy—just as it was not for me to keep you. If he does this, he will snuff out whatever light the Boy has inside of him, and he might kill the Boy sooner than anything else will. If he wants to know love, if he wants to know Oneness, then he must let the Boy go and die unto himself, for it is only then that they will truly be One.”
The Night Sky then released the Evening Star, and she shone more brightly than ever before.