Part 25: The path least travelled (part 3)
2007-05-10 15:49:52 -
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Our three friends Preteritus (the past), Nunco (the present) and Prostremo (the future), having set out from their village in search of a treasure, have just set up camp after a long and eventful first day on their journey. 

What is worth looking for within this story is the way we view life. Our three friends’ names come from the way they primarily view life:
_ Preteritus is focused primarily in the past and trying to figure out what might have happened if he had perhaps made different choices in life, which can mean that he finds it difficult to move forward.
_ Prostremo looks more tow-ards the future and is constantly creating expectations that are not always possible to achieve, and can lead to disappointment.
_ Nunco uses his experiences from the past to learn from, and his desires for the future to drive his actions in the present.
 
You could take this story as a parable, to understand how the impact of different ways of viewing the same action can deeply affect how you think and ultimately your chances of leading a happy, joyous and fulfilling life.

How you define happiness, joy and fulfilment is ultimately your definition of what wealth to you is. By pursuing your path to your idea of wealth will ensure that you can be as rich as you desire. I don’t know what journey you are on or where you are going or who is there with you, yet I sense an understanding within you. 

As humans we have been blessed with the power of thought and reason, so we should treat this gift with respect and use it to cleanse our minds of negativity. This way we can create a receptive mind for the positive influences and feelings that shine a light on our path through the struggles of life.

Whatever your problems, pains or challenges, it will serve you well to remember that darkness cannot survive in the face of light...

As he lay in the tent, with his eyes closed, just before he dropped of to sleep, Nunco realised what a wonderful day he had had, and how important his two friends were to his life.

Preteritus was someone whose knowledge of the past was legendary and with the information he could provide it made it easy to clearly enjoy the present. It was however somewhat sad that Preteritus always seemed preoccupied with the past. It seemed that he was rooted there, and that it impacted his enjoyment of how he could live each day.

When you look into the past and wish you could change how things might have been, you might as well wish that you had been born in a different place, be a different sex and a completely different size. Without some serious surgery, there is no way that a 183cm man weighing 90kg could be come a 163cm woman weighing 52kg.

The key, mused Nunco, is to accept your past, learn from it and use the lessons in everyday life – this way you can start to move towards the future you truly desire.

Prostremo, on the other hand, seemed to wish for everything in his life to change. He would make plans about what he would start tomorrow. He was the type of person who always made New Year’s resolutions that lay dormant by the end of January. It might be great to plan a journey, using maps, stocking your provisions and setting out fixed on your destination. But what happens if you come across a hole in the road that seems impassable? What do you do then? How do you continue with your journey if your plans are inflexible?
He had often witnessed Prostremo running to intercept a ball, his eyes fixed on the goal posts that he felt he would definitely smite the ball into, only to miss the ball completely since he had not watched where it was going.

Thoughts, thoughts and more thoughts – great to help you understand people and solve problems, but counter-productive to having relationships with people and enjoying the spontaneity of life.

Nunco came back to the present understanding the lessons that he learned from his thoughts, and took a deep breath, savouring the smell and feeling of the moss that they had used to lay their sleeping bags on in the tent. He heard the soft sounds of his friends breathing, their minds calm as they left their own thoughts behind them in the peaceful embrace of sleep.
Just then an owl hooted overhead, and as Nunco listened to the echoes reverberating across the lake, he drifted off to a peaceful sleep, his mind clear and at ease.

The next morning when they woke up it was bright and clear. A mist hung over the lake, shrouding part of it in an eerie kind of shimmering mantle. The rain from yesterday had left the hills and shoreline looking clean and pristine.

“Looks like our adventure keeps getting better,” said Nunco as he started to roll up his bedclothes.
“But what happens if we end up getting too hot?” replied Prostremo. “I guess we better ensure that our water bottles are full and that we cover ourselves up in case we meet any mosquitoes.”

“I remember a time, it was a day just like this, that I was running along bedside a forest and I tripped and sprained my ankle really badly,” said Preteritus. “I can almost feel the pain right now, I was unable to walk for days! What would become of us if I tripped again? It would be the end of our adventure, wouldn’t it?” He looked genuinely sad.

“Come on guys,” said Nunco, “we haven’t even broken camp and had breakfast. It is a beautiful day, can we just get on with things – Preteritus, why don’t you go and collect some more sticks, it might get you to realise what a beautiful day we are already having.”
After a nice cup of tea and a sandwich, the three friends lugged their packs on their backs and set off. The road led into another forest, but it was clear and wide. Though they could still feel the sun on their backs, a cool breeze made the walk very enjoyable.

After a while the road started to get quite steep as they began to climb the side of the mountain. Just ahead, as they neared the summit, they could make out the end of the tree line. They could also see a small stream crossing their path.

As they reached the stream, Prostremo dumped his pack on the ground and lay down, thrusting his face into the flowing current to take a long drink of the cold crystal-clear mountain water. He splashed some on his face and stood up with a huge grin.

“I completely forgot to fill the water bottles at the lake and it seems that we were able to walk all this way without their added weight!” he said. “Maybe Nunco has a point, that there are only certain things that you can plan for and that it is just moving forward and enjoying the journey that delivers the satisfaction and beautiful surprises like this.”

Preteritus added: “I remember reading that mountain water is the healthiest and most pure water that you can drink. Even the bottled water loses some of the amazing effervescence that this stream gives you – it seems like we are tasting a bit of life right now!”
Nunco looked at his friends with admiration and love; he could see that this short journey had brought them a long way. It seemed that they were opening their hearts to the wonderful joy of being in the present. The future and the past are purely figments of our imagination and memory that can only live in the present as your thoughts connect to them, like the riverbed that provides a passageway for the mountain brook as it flows without a care, always changing and yet constant. Just as the riverbed combined with the water becomes a river, so the past and the future combine in the present to become your reality.

With a growing feeling of elation, Nunco finally realised why they were on this journey and for the first time he started to understand why his presence was essential to the three friends finding the treasure that they sought.

As he looked up, from a place of stillness and peace, he saw Preteritus and Prostremo gesticulating wildly. As his eyes followed where they were looking he saw what had caused so much excitement to his friends.

Coming around the side of the mountain, just above the tree line was…

To be continued next week

peter@3r.ie
 
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