Heavens Valley

Long Long Ago in a fabled land, lived a benevolent king and his happy subjects. Orchards and vineyards covered the hilly country side except where the river flowed. Unlike most kings, he lived with his people, joining with them in both work and play. It was a tidy kingdom where cleanliness won favor in the king's eye. Tailors, merchants, and poets too, prided themselves with their products. Weaving the finest of threads into cloth and stories of unbelievable beauty. all the inhabitants shared in the wealth of their land. Never lacking food or clothing, happy with the necessities of life. Surplus wealth was used to beautify their Valley. At the end of each day, when their work was done, and all had washed away the dirt of the day, seated together they ate their evening meal. A sort of magic seemed to dwell within the people. The clothes the tailors made only added to the valley's beauty. as though woven from magic thread. Even the food they ate, prepared from fruit, filled their bodies with magic of home made-ness. A happy magic, where competition dwelt not. The magic one feels, a job well done, the finishing stroke of an artist's brush, a new design, a garment. The magic in a basket of fresh picked fruit, so carefully tended and tenderly watched over as it grew. A valley of infinite splendor surrounded by mountains that touched the sky. Their humble home.

Visitors rarely came into their valley. Treacherous passes through the mountains were all but inaccessible to those who lived beyond. One night, as a thunder storm lay siege on the mountains, a lightning bolt that came from the sky filled the valley with light, as though it came from heaven. And, there, hiding under a tree, was a child, his eyes aglow as the fear of children touched his mind. Trembling more from fear than from the falling rain, He stood before the fireplace a puddle of water at his feet. His big brown eyes, like saucers, filled his head. Streaks of dirt worn on his face, were soon all that remained of the storm outside. Perhaps the storm or maybe the strange people whom he'd never seen before, were the reason. But here he stood unknown to all including himself. An orphaned lad, with tailor new clothes and his very own bedroom in the cottage of the king. As the morning sun rose above the mountain peaks its graceful arms giving light and warmth to the valley, blessed the valley with a rainbow that stretched from peak to peak. A salutation to the first child to come to this valley. for in the valley age came not and all its inhabitants, free from age, grew into maturity. Even the king could not recall having ever seen a child in all the years of his life. Perhaps before the mountains grew, the small hills could have been the children that matured into majestic mountains. but even before then no children had ever come or been born into the valley.

They kept no records and there were no stories about the valley. For stories and records were for children and they had none. Their beginning seemed lost in the valley's own beginning for thousands of seasons had passed through their valley and although they enjoyed perfect health no one could remember from whence they came. So many questions the child had brought, yet to utter a word. The valley itself seemed disturbed by its new visitor. with the patience of time the child was taught the ways of the valley. each person showed him their work, the tailor showed him how to make cloth, the cook showed him the culinary arts, the farmer showed him the fields he cared for, even the king showed him the way of joining together all of the diverse arts of their valley. Soon the days became seasons and so did their child grow, sharing in the valley's dream. He learned to help them all developing proficiency in all the many arts.

Each of the inhabitants with the guidance of their king, long ago selected jobs and duties at which they were best. And now the child would select his. Alas, all had already been taken for before he came the valley was self sufficient needed nothing more. In his grief at being unable to give to the valley what he had received, he told all that he must leave. Thanking them all and declining all their offers. He set foot for the mountain over which the sun came. As he walked through the orchards and passed over the bridge on the river, he felt the loneliness of leaving, the pain of not being able to offer the valley his own self. He knew well all the valley's needs and saw with grief them all fulfilled. a last longing look at the valley and its people caused tears to touch his cheeks once more. His friends called for him to come back for they enjoyed his smile and happy laugh. He answered and said to them, "Perhaps I will find what is for me a way i can return the love the valley and all my friends have given unselfishly to me." As he made his way to the mountain peak the pain of leaving grew deep in his heart, and from the top of sun mountain he watched the sun setting and knew he would return.

Forsaking the rich valley, he sought to discover in the lands beyond what he might offer to the valley. As he journeyed into the unknown he came upon a man, his eyes blind. he spoke with him and listed to his story. As he listened, he remembered the valley and the people of perfect health and thought surely if I was to return with him his eyes would be restored. yet he himself could not help the valley and another man would be even worse. Compassion filled his heart and realizing this man's needs and his own lack, he gave to him his own eyes. For he had nothing to lose without his eyes the valley would still go one.

Further on the road, he came upon a child like he was once. and wiping away her tears he asked her why she cried. She told him of her family, poor though they were satisfied, until their father lost the use of his ears. Not understanding what poor meant, he knew what deafness would mean to a man who lived by helping others with their problems, and feeling the valley needed not his ears, he gave them to her father. Many hurt and lonely people he met, and with compassion he gave of all he had so they might live. To a man born without arms, he gave his own. to another, he gave his legs, trading their loss for his own. Without his own parts, he would have perished had not an old man taken him home and cared for him. To him he gave his tongue so he might give to all the wisdom his silent body held. To even another he gave his nose so he might know another beauty the flowers gave. He gave all but the valley's dream. For of all he met, none knew of the valley. He gave his mind to a teacher who suffered the loss of his own while teaching children. And his life he gave to a man drowned while saving a child. he asked only that his body made of parts he'd traded be given back to the ground. The valley's dream was all he possessed for now death had come to claim his broken form. In compassion he found a way to give back to the valley the love he was given.

As those he helped watched him die, he saw grief in their hearts. and that too, he
took from them, giving in return the happiness he knew. as the hand of death
reached out to take him a smile formed by his lips spoke the meaning of love to
those who watched. That day the valley rejoiced for its child had returned, ending
his journey into life. And the dream the valley had given to him now was free and
with its freedom came love and out of love came compassion. And the child knew.
to him was given the job of caring for the dream, to watch as it grew and matured.


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