A New Year’s Tale (500 Words)

The moon hangs in full promise on the last night of a strange year. The North Wind chills the air as it blows through town, making way for Sister South Wind’s breath of sea salt. Together, first one and then the other, they cleanse the land of restless unease.  A clean slate is left for our designs in the coming year. Come, rest before journeying on. Come, meet new friends, and greet those who are long-time companions. It is time for warmth, comfort, and time for one more story before the journey begins again.

“Once in a time when pain, chaos, and uncertainty were the contagions that spread through our lands, there was a monk who lived deep in the cloud forest of Kona, where the clouds and mist swirled about, caressing the leaves and trees.  The monk went about his daily meditations in solitude. He wore this solitude like a magic cloak, rendering him invisible to the woes of ordinary folk.

Devout and unwavering in his faith, he ascended to the level of saints and spiritual masters. The monk marveled at his powers—the ability to heal, to create positive energy and well-being, even if it was only for himself. He was happy and content to be part of the natural order of the forest.

And so it goes. He lived in solitude for many years. In the monk’s first twilight meditation of the new year, the Aumakua Omaomao, the green spirit moth, fluttered at his face, which was smooth and without creases left by laughter or tears. The moth’s wings brushed his eyelids and brought images of mothers searching for misplaced dreams of hope. This image faded as the monk settled more deeply into meditation.

Next, a hummingbird moth darted near his ear. He heard murmuring voices lifted in earnest prayers. Shifting his weight, the monk breathed deeply and exhaled slowly as he sank deeper into nothingness.

In that nothingness, the monk heard the clear peal of a bell. That pure note resonated in his mind and throughout his very core, which now vibrated with golden energy. His eyes opened. His mind was alert to the Aumakua Omaomao, the hummingbird moth, and the world at the edge of the forest. A wondrous thing happened next. The monk began to laugh, cry, yell in pain, and fill with love and compassion.

He stood and walked slowly to the edge of the forest.  With each sure step, the cloud forest was left behind as the village drew nearer. Mothers who saw him ran to greet him because he seemed to glow with hope. Others were drawn to him by a pure bell note, an echo of the prayers in  their hearts. And that was just the beginning of a new time for the monk and the village.”

And so, my friend, leave your cloak of solitude. Grace us with your presence, your gifts, and most of all, your love. May the New Year bring you closer to your heart’s desire.

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