There are had been a new Zen master in the tiny town of Fateville. A Shaman to the likes none had ever seen before.
Every Monday afternoon, hundreds of followers encompassed the town’s square waiting to see the young man from a history of family wealth..Rumor had it that held a silver spoon to his mouth and silver virtue all about. Waiting and wondering what words of wisdom would be said for the week.
The little northern town had suffered so much with inner turmoil and outside land management…conflicts. That most citizen’s spent their time looking down instead of up!
Some would even say, Fateville had been in the middle of it’s own irrelevant little civil war…for about a generation or so.
Indeed, the young man cloaked with immaculate white linen and words of the way, mindfulness and enlightenment had been just what the town had ordered.
Peace seemed to have settled on the settlement as though a new light could be seen at the end of an endlessly wrought with misgivings…tunnel.
The only difficulty on the horizon had been the commencement of erecting a new chapel. A not so virgin plot of land in which those that wished to…could come and pray and seek the way had been set aside. Only issue at hand was the ancient farmer, John John. John’s family had farmed the land in and out of Fateville for centuries. But as luck would have it…the townspeople did not have time for old ways and wished to usher in new philosophies and new riches. John had been given an ultimatum to which he could not refuse.
‘Leave the land to the town…or, suffer being disowned and ridicule and shunned!’
It was shortly after the news of Fateville’s councilman’s promise to the farmer that the Zen Master began arriving late for his weekly service.
To add to the township’s dismay…the Shaman began to dress somewhat provocatively…considering his tenure with a Higher Power. The ends of his dress began to look frayed and in need of cleaning. Normally a clean cut and clean shaven man…the Master began to carry a five day shadow for a beard and his hair fall into a heavy dread locked style.
So as Fateville’s history proved time and time again, nothing good can stay in the northern town. Nothing, absolutely, nothing.
Upon the fourth Monday, the Shaman did not show up at all. The citizens were certain that he had learned of his ‘fate’, as it were! That the town council had again handed down the promise…
‘Speak Shaman of the way…as it were and as it will always be. No more shunning of the faith or you to will be disowned and cast out of the town as a fool!’
As the worshipers were reading themselves for the fall out…upon the sacred ground. A young woman named T ran to the alter and began sobbing as though she had seen a ghost.
‘What is it that makes you belittle the altar of good wishes…child?’
‘John-John the farmer, it’s the farmer, he has gone and hired himself help. And, the image has stirred me so…’
As mass groups of uninformed persons do…the town took itself as one down to the square in which the new marketplace was to be built and held it’s ignorant vigil there.
And, as the hot noon day sun approached it’s highest peak a shine was placed upon the tops of two bald men tending the fields. The crops were knee high with the promise of touching the sky. Such vegetables that had been difficult to find due to the drought…such vegetables as, corn, squash, lentil…were all in abundance.
Indeed, Fateville’s Higher Power had returned. Who had been this bald and able man helping the ancient farmer?
Upon approach it had been apparent to the citizens that the way of the Buddha and the way of enlightened had been finally felt by Fateville. For indeed, the young Shaman and the old Farmer had been the heroes of the field that day.
As the crowd began to gather around to touch the young man and the farmer. As the council men cleared their throats and readied their mouths to eat crow…the Shaman spoke.
‘It is easy to fall into the way of humanness. The judgment, the ridicule, the wanting for more. I, too, succumb, just as any of you do. But the luxury of convenience is a false illusion…We must always attend to the earth if wish for anything to grow!’
Or, so the story goes….
I met a young man with autism today…
I asked him,
John-John, why aren’t you at church with your parents?
I’m allowed to see my God as I want to see him. And, I like to do that at home!
Just for one split second I thought…
…perhaps the earth will be okay someday…