He sat, legs crossed like the Buddha, his gaze locking me in. Next to him was a large coal-black pot on a fire, its succulent aroma piercing my nostrils, permeating my head.
Come, my son, you must be starving.
I half sat, half collapsed as he ladled stew into a wooden bowl and handed it to me.
Eat slowly, my son.
Ravenous, I did as he said. He was The Wise Man, His words burdened with Truth. I hadn’t trekked across continents, nearly dying in the process, to dismiss his counsel. I ate – slowly – and felt a tranquility settle over my spirit as the nourishing warmth traveled down my throat, into my being. I’d made it. A tear pearled down my cheek. He looked at me and smiled.
Tell me, son, why have you come to me?
I explained to Him of the despair in my soul, of the confusion I felt about the world and the people in it – of their cruelty and apathy toward one another – and I told him how I ached to know to my purpose. A look of pity came over his face.
Oh my son…no one decides to live on a mountain because they have people figured out. Here, have another bowl of stew.