The tale of the eternal walking stick

I once moved to a new village and after settling in I decided to go for a walk through the centre to see what the people were like. I sat in the centre of the village on a bench and after taking in the wonderful architecture of this ancient village, I was joined by an elderly monk who sat beside me and stared in the same direction as me. Mustering up the courage, I held out my hand and said hello to him. He shook my hand and returned my greeting. I could not help noticing this amazing stick he was holding, I just had to ask where he got it from. he told me that he had found it in the forest one day when he was walking as a young man and it had been with him all these years. 

After much thought I asked him if he would sell the stick to me and he promptly replied no, he couldn't and then he told me why. "I will tell you the story of this stick and that it has been with me on my journey throughout my life as I have been on its journey. Together we share the same path". I felt humbled as he clearly treated the stick as a living entity. he continued. "when I found this stick I had fallen down a very steep hill and it was raining very hard and there was no way I could have avoided being swallowed by the river if I never had the stick to help me climb back up". He said that he felt the stick had allowed him to be carried up the hill, like having someone to lean on when in difficult times, but not only that, someone who knows you and understands the value of your life". he continued "From that day I become a monk and the stick and I have walked many miles, through many villages and have met many people on our journey, healing them and helping them, by allowing them to lean on my stick". I asked him "does not the stick become tired" "Oh no" he replied "quite the opposite as every one we meet and with every step I take the stick and I become stronger and stronger".

I was not sure how to take this story as at the end of the day it was just a stick, but somehow this man had enchanted me with this story and every time I looked at the stick I could feel myself being pulled in more and more into an unknown world of love and happiness. He proceeded to tell me that the stick had walked with his wife, children and grand children and they all knew of its journey with him. "what is the journey sir" I asked politely. he turned and looked at me and stood up and said " I am going home now, but for sure you will understand this journey one day, this I promise". With that said he turned and walked away. 

The next day I got a knock on my door and it was his son who told me that his father had passed away and I was invited to his funeral. I was in shock and could not believe what was happening. A few days passed and I was at the funeral where they were burying him. After the funeral I asked his son what had happened to the stick, he smiled and said to me that it had been buried with him as he had wished. 

One year later I moved away and then two years later I married and had a son of my own. When my son reached ten years old, I told him that we were going on a journey to visit a very special place. We arrived at the village and my son loved the place, however he kept going on about the old monk and his walking stick, so I took him to his grave. To my amazement a blossom tree had grown through his grave, not only this but it was exactly the same shape as his walking stick. As I stood in awe of this magnificent tree his son had turned up and said to me that his father had left me a message. He simply told me " my father said to tell you that the journey never ends for him or the stick".

A tale by Master Vasilios © 2016