April 2, 2008 by jeffreytaos
Once upon a time there was a village near a great mountain. Beyond the village there was a spring where the people came each day to gather water for their houses. They came in the mornings after eating their breakfasts. Sometimes the women came with their children. At other times, the children came alone, as the women had many chores to do around their houses, such as taking care of the babies, feeding the animals, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, and preparing the lunches and dinners for their men.
Each day, the men went into the fields to work the earth. Often the women would join them in the fields after they had taken care of the many chores. The earth gave many good things to them all. They had to think about their futures. In the winter, they thought about the spring. In the summer they thought about the winter. In the winter the soil had to be kept warm, and so they covered the earth with a blanket of leaves and straw, making a mulch for the spring. In the spring, they had to turn the ground under.
In the village, there were not many oxen, so the men and the women all had to work together. Each day the men would go to a different field within the village to work. In this way, all of the villages fields were made ready for planting. At harvest time, a schedule was made by the village elders to ensure that each field had enough workers to bring in the good things the earth gave to them. It was in this way that the people of this village lived for as long as they could remember.
The spring where they gathered their water throughout the year came from a crack in one of the rocks near the bottom of the big mountain. As long as the people could remember, the water had flowed from that place. The mountain did not have a name. The people just called it the mountain without a name. It was the nameless one.
One morning in the early spring, the villagers were busy doing their chores, when the children came running into the village shouting and screaming, “The water is gone. The water is gone.” Alarmed, the villagers, mostly the women as the men were in the fields, gathered around the young children, suspicious and yet concerned. Yes, the clay jars that they normally carried the water in were empty. One woman accused the children of being lazy, saying to the children, “You did not want to carry the water today.” Another woman said, “It must be the God’s who are angry at our village”. Another woman said, “It is a harmful spirit which has caused our children to become lost and confused”.
After much arguing, it was decided that they should all go to the nameless one and see for themselves. So, once again with the children leading the way down a well worn path, they began the short journey to the foot of the mountain which had no name to the place where the water had come to them from the crack in the rock.
The women, some of whom carried babies, tied to their backs walked in silence. When all of the women and all of the children reached the spot where they had always received their water, they were shocked and saddened to see the water was nowhere to be found. They touched the spot where the water had been and it was moist and cool, but scarecly a single drop came forth.
Some of the women began to cry, but the children hugged them and told them, “Don’t be sad.” Everyone walked back to the village with heavy hearts. Arriving at the village past lunch time, the men were curiously waiting, for there had been no lunch prepared for hem.
Some of the men began to shout at the women for neglecting their duties, but an old woman spoke up very loudly, saying to the men, “You should not jump to such conclusions until you have heard the reason why you have had no lunch today”. The men calmed down and listened as the women began to tell the story. The children who were very excited would add to the story from their own experience. The men decided that they should all have a big dinner together that night and the village should have a meeting of the whole community afterwards. The women set about the task of preparing a big meal for eveyone. Each neighbor agreed to give something from their storehouse as a contribution to the dinner.
There were many mouths to feed and it was early spring so the community of the village put the food out on big cloths which were spread upon the ground. Like this, everybody ate together, mostly thinking about their problem of the wate running dry. When all of the people felt full and had eaten plenty, one elderly man, an elder of the village, stood up to speak. The old woman who had spoken earlier in the day was his wife. She too stood up to hear his words.
He said, “A long time ago when I was young, my grandmother and my grandfather told me that a day would come when the water would no longer come to us in our village”. He said his grandparents had told him that the mountain had given it’s secrets to them when they were young. He said, “Now is the time to gather our most beautiful daughters and our strongest young men and go together to the mountain with no name. We must find a name for our mountain, and it will once again give to us the water that we want and need.” Many eyebrows were raised at such remarks.
The old woman then spoke saying, “Yes, it is true. Though I was very young, I remember the exact day in the Spring when this story was told. It was soon after hat we asked the elders to grant their blessings for our wedding”. “Yes”, the man spoke again. “It must be that as the young men go into the mountain to search for it’s name, our beautiful daughters must remain at the spot had flowed and sing the most beautiful songs to the mountain. As they sing our young men will become stronger and their vision will become like eagles, and their ears will hear every sound in the forest. And so it was agreed by all of the people of the village that they must try to find out if this plan would work. They would all meet together at the spot where the water had flowed at the time of the sun’s rising the following morning.
That night the old man and the old woman dreamed of a flower. Neither told the other, but in the morning, got dressed and prepared a sack of good things for the day ahead. Now when all of the people arrived at the place where the water had flowed, the beautiful daughters began to sing. As they sang, the sun began to rise and could be seen coming up from the other side of the fields far away. As the sun rose a majestic orange filled the morning air.
The young men decided that now was the time to embark upon the journey into the mountain. They agreed to stay together so that no one would be lost. Even as they climbed further into the mountain they could still hear the beautiful singing of the lovely daughters. The daughters wanted the sons to hear them and so as time passed, they sang even louder and with heartfelt thankfulness for the courageous young men who were searching in the mountain for a name. Though they did not know what they were looking for, they had been told to look for something that would be unusual that would be a sign for them.
Soon they could no longer hear the singing. By the early afternoon, some of the young men were complaining of feeling tired. “We should go back”, one man said. “It’s of no use”, said another. “We do not know of what we are seeking”, replied a third. “No”!, shouted a young and strong boy no more than twelve. “The grandfather and grandmother have told us to go on”. “We cannot give up now”, he added. Just then, a loud sound came from beyond some trees in a direction they had not been. They decided it was a sign and they should go that way. Soon they came upon a small but well worn trail, where animals had travelled before them. They walked along the trail for quite some time in silence when suddenly there was a clearing in the trees and the sunlight was illuminating a very green and beautiful valley. Everywhere they looked, their eyes were filled with color. The smell of the flowers that filled this wonderful meadow within the valley was sweet and reminded them of the daughters who must still be singing in the place whee the water had flowed.
There were flowers of almost every color, red, yellow, lavendar, blue, pink, violet, orange, and scarlet, and white. They began to cross the large open meadow and as they walked further on, the ground became soft beneath their bare feet. The coolness of the earth and the dampness of the grass made their feet feel good. Suddenly and all at once, they saw it, the sign the grandfather and grandmother had told them to look for. They shouted with joy!
There in the middle of the meadow was a very small pond and the water was clear It was bubbling up from beneath the ground. There in the water was a flower they had neve seen before. It was a pale blue lotus flower and the bubbling water splashed upon it. One by one they cupped their hands and filled them with the clear water and tasted it. “It’s delicious!, one said. “It’s so fresh!”, said another. “I can’t believe it”, said a third boy.
The young men decided to take some of the flowers from the meadow and to leave the petals upon the trail so that they could be sure to find this spot again easily. Soon they began to hear the singing of he beautiful and lovely daughters of he village and they began to shout. The villagers all heard the shouting and began to get very excited. The daughters began to sing even louder because they wanted the young men to know that they had been heard.
On arriving at the spot where the water once flowed, the oldest of he young men told of the meadow and of the flowers and of the blue lotus. The other young men gave of the remaining flowers to the young women. When the grandfather and the grandmother heard of this strange blue flower, tears began to fall from their eyes, as this was the same flower that each had seen in their dream the night before.
Now the villagers returned to their homes happy with the news and anxious to see this new place. The daughters put some of the flowers the young men had carried into their hair and they looked even more lovely than before. After a long evening together, the villagers sat down upon the cloths laid out near the fields to contemplate the name of the mountain. The youngest child who could speak said “We can call it Blue Flower Mountain”. It was agreed that this was indeed a very good name. In the morning everyone gathered together with their clay vessels and jars to once again go to the place where the water had been. To their surprise, the water was gently and steadily coming out of the crack in the rock once again. As the sun rose in the sky, the flow of water became even stronger until it seemed that it had never stopped.
It was decided that the meadow with the blue flower must be the source of their water and each promised the others that they would protect it for all time to come. It was also agreed that every spring on the first sign of warm weather, that a journey would be made to the source, to the blue lotus flower pond. The women agreed that they would sing so that the men would be able to find their way home. The men agreed that they would bring the flowers to the daughters so that they could become more beautiful than before. And so now every Spring, when the weather is warm, the villagers make a pilgrimage to the mountain to find the source, and the women put the flowers in their hair and the night is filled with happiness and joy, and the sweet smell of the midnight air. In this way, they remember the mountains name and they call it the Blue Flower Mountain.
March 30th 2008
April 02, 2008
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