The Hill With a Big Tree

There once was a master and an apprentice. The master sat a top of a hill with a big tree.

Being curious, the apprentice went up the hill and asked the master, “how did you attain your great wisdom?”

“Look at the tree branches swaying in the wind, but not breaking. The world tells a story,” the master said.

The apprentice went off and studied the tree branches and analyzed what it must mean.

The apprentice came back delighted with his new insights and wisdom. He explained to the master, “the trunk of the tree holds the branches as the wind pushes it against us. Just like our family and friends holds us as issues arise. Have I earned your wisdom?”

The master replied, chucklingly, “I don’t know. Look at the clouds slowly moving through the sky, each one unique, never to be seen again. The world tells a story.”

Annoyed that he must go out again, but determined to achieve this great wisdom, the apprentice hurried away to another big hill to get close to the sky and clouds. There, he studied the clouds. He analyzed what they MUST mean.

Coming back with the insights, the apprentice explained to the master, “each cloud is like a person. We should appreciate everyone for their uniqueness, while they are still around us. Have I achieved your great wisdom now?”

To which the master replied, “I don’t know. Climb the highest mountain, bring a bird, and let it fly. The world tells a story.”

The apprentice grudgingly got up, and went to achieve his quest. He wondered if he would ever achieve the master’s great wisdom. Nonetheless, he collected a bird at the local market, climbed to the highest mountain he knew, battled mountain lions along the way up, then let the bird go at the top. The apprentice sat there and watched the bird fly across the valleys below. Looking down at the vastnesss and beauty of below, he wasn’t sure if he could explain what it all meant.

Sad that he would not be able to achieve the great wisdom of the master, the apprentice began his journey back.

After his return, he explained to the master what had happened. The apprentice pleaded,” I am sorry, master. I have failed. I battled lions and reached the top of the mountain. I let the bird fly, but I couldn’t figure out the meaning.”

The master looked closely into the apprentice’s eyes and saw they were tired. “I wasn’t sure about that one either,” the master said, “Sit here with me, wise one. The world tell a story. You now have a couple to tell. Let your eyes rest, and tell your stories to the travelers who walk up the hill. I will keep looking at this tree for some more stories. We shall carry this duty together.”