Part 31: The path least travelled (part 9)
2007-06-21 15:26:27 -

Metro Eireann presents the latest weekly column by the entrepreneur coach and business growth specialist, designed to help you overcome any obstacles and reach your dreams 

Often life throws us curveballs, I don’t know what yours were, but I am sure you have had them. It is the balance of life, the happiness and the sorrow, that allows us to truly appreciate what joy can do for us. However, the choice we have is in how long we are willing to accept pain and sadness into our lives…

Previously in our story: Nunco, Preteritus and Prostremo – having travelled less than two days – met three other travellers, once presumed lost, who had found their treasure. They were accompanied by Electra, who has fallen in love with Pro. Electra has been telling our three friends about her past, the story of how she lost her four-year-old daughter and husband…

Electra continued: “I made a decision there and then that only I could choose the path of sadness or happiness. I could cherish the memories of my two darlings, or I could continue on, wondering how life might have been different if it had never happened.”

Nunco looked up, wiping a tear from his eye. “I have never been in your situation, so I can only imagine what you must have gone through, but my heart goes out to you with huge admiration,” he said. “To make the most difficult choice to move on with your life takes a strength that few people know they have within themselves.”

“Exactly,” exclaimed Elec-tra, “I would not have been here if I had chosen the path of sadness; my journey would have been monotonous and without joy.

“When I met up with Darius, Santiago and Andreas, and they told me about the journey that they had embarked upon, I felt it was within my destiny to accept their offer of companionship. I knew not where they were going or where it would lead me, but as I mentioned before, I felt it would get me more focused on the here and now, and I could start to live my life again in awe of what each moment can bring.”

“I see now,” said Prostremo, “that it is important to realise that a mistake may only be deemed a failure if you fail to learn from the outcome. Life should be a continuous learning exercise, a lesson in what to do, and what to avoid.

“In meeting you, Electra, I realise that my mistake was an expectation of what tomorrow may bring, the hopes that were continually shattered by not being aware of who I am right now.

“I always wanted success, like an athlete who wants to be the best in his discipline, yet I seemed afraid to commit myself, lest I should fail. Everything seems too rosy in the future, when the sharp taste of reality is not in your being.

“And yet, being with you in this clearing with my two beautiful friends, I feel a joy that is indescribable. Your pain and suffering have led you to this place, to join in our journey, with trials and hurdles to sweep over with a sense of pure accomplishment.”

Preteritus suddenly noticed a strange rustling noise coming from the edge of the clearing, somewhere up high, to the right of where they were standing, in the direction of the mountain.
“Did you hear that guys?” he said.

“Sorry, what are you talking about?” responded Prostremo, a slow lazy smile creasing his face. “I was miles away! In fact no, I was actually right here, but I was thinking about all I had, yet for me it was miles away, does that make any sense?”

“Sure,” replied Preteritus, “it makes perfect sense to a star-struck lover such as yourself, but I am far more interested in knowing what made that sound. It was too high up to be an animal, unless it was something that could climb up a tree. Do you think it could be someone who wants to rob us? I did hear about that happening before, you know!”

“Get a grip of yourself, man,” chided Prostremo. “Why do you always look for some dark and deep story in your past to get yourself all panicky?”

“And you’re Mister Perfect, aren’t you!” quipped Preteritus, “I mean, you would never go off in your fantasy world, would you? Or did you happen to imagine Electra walking along into your life? Was she exactly how you imagined how she would be, arriving here exactly when she did?”

“Would you two ever knock it off?” said Nunco, pointing up at the trees, where a magpie sat balancing on a branch, with something shiny in its beak.

“One for sorrow, two for joy,” quoted Prostremo from the old rhyme. “I hope there is another one lurking around; I don’t think I would fancy any bad luck right now.”

“To be honest, I’m more interested in what it has in its beak,” said Nunco – who, glancing at Electra, quickly added: “Or her!”

“Oh, why thank you for your consideration!” exclaimed Electra, a glimpse of ego showing. “I was beginning to think that you guys had forgotten all about me.”

“Sorry Electra,” said Prostremo, “I am off again, jumping into what might be, even falling for my doomsaying friend’s negativity.”

“Oh, come on Prostremo,” Preteritus jumped in, “that’s a bit mean!”

“I am sorry,” he replied. “I shouldn’t have given you such a hard time, I guess I was slipping away from right now as well!

“So what is in his beak?” he asked, referring to the magpie. “Did any one lose anything – hey hang on a minute, maybe it’s a piece of treasure! What do you think guys?”

“It’s treasure all right,” said Nunco. “Treasure that Mister Magpie has in his beak – maybe it means something and maybe it doesn’t!”

Still a little piqued, yet annoyed with herself for feeling so, Electra added: “Oh, we are back to ‘Mister’ again, are we? Must be a male thing, that only men can carry treasure, is it?”

“Two sides to every coin, I see,” said Prostremo. “Where’s your love, forgiveness and wonderment at what each moment can bring you on your journey gone right now?”

“Mea culpa,” replied Electra, feeling really rather foolish. “I let my big fat ego get in the way. It always does cause us pain doesn’t it?”

Just at that moment the magpie, startled by something in the trees, started flapping madly. Uttering a blood-curdling squawk, it dropped from its beak the shiny object, which came to rest beside the trunk of a large oak tree.

“Come on guys,” said Preteritus, rushing over to the tree, “let’s see what it is!” 
Prostremo quickly overtook his friend, crouched down to see the object, and gave a sudden gasp of surprise, for there lying on the ground was…

To be continued next week
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