Sorry, vandaag deze post alleen in het engels,
Ik lukte mij niet zo heel erg goed om dit verhaal
naar het Nederlands te vertalen.
Wisdom of the Willow Tree.
What is the meaning of life?
Why is it that people grow old and die?
Although he was young, those questions troubled
the mind of Little One. He asked the elders
about them, but their answers did not satisfy him.
At last he knew there was only one thing to do.
He would have to seek the answers in his dreams.
Little One rose early in the morning and prayed
to Wah-Kon-Tah for help. Then he walked away
from the village, across the prairie and toward
the hills. He took nothing with him, no food or water.
He was looking for a place where none of his
people would see him, a place where a vision
could come to him.
Little One walked a long way. Each night he camped
in a different place, hoping that it would be the
right one to give him a dream that could answer
his questions. But no such dream came to him.
At last he came to a hill that rose above the land
like the breast of a turkey. A spring burst from
the rocks near the base of a great elm tree.
It was such a beautiful place that it seemed to
be filled with the power of Wah-Kon-Tah.
Little One sat down by the base of that elm tree
and waited as the sun set. But though he slept,
again no sign was given to him.
When he woke the next morning, he was weak
with hunger. I must go back home, he thought.
He was filled with despair, but his thoughts were
of his parents. He had been gone a long time.
Even though it was expected that a young man
would seek guidance alone in this fashion,
Little One knew they would be worried.
"If I do not return while I still have the
strength to walk," he said, "I will die here
and my family may never find my body."
So Little One began to follow the small stream
that was fed by the spring. It flowed out of
the hills in the direction of his village,
and he trusted it to lead him hime. He walked and
walked until he was not far from his village.
But as he walked along that stream, he stumbled
and fell among the roots of an old willow tree.
Little One clung to the roots of the willow tree.
Although he tried to rise, his legs were too weak.
"Grandfather," he said to the willow tree,
"It is not possible for me to go on."
Then the ancient willow spoke to him.
"Little One," it said, "all the Little Ones always
cling to me for support as they walk along the
great path of life. See the base of my trunk,
which sends forth those roots that hold me
firm in the earth. They are the sign of my old age.
They are darkened and wrinkled with age,
but they are still strong. Their strength comes
from relying on the earth.
When the Little Ones use me as a symbol,
they will not fail to see old age as they
travel along the path of life."
Those words gave strength to Little One's spirit.
He stood again and began to walk.
Soon his own village was in sight, and as he sat
down to rest for a moment in the grass of the prairie,
looking at his village, another vision came to him.
He saw before him the figure of an old man.
The old man was stangely familiar, even though
Little One had never seen him before.
"Look upon me," the old man said. "What do you see?"
"I see an old man whose face is wrinkled
with age," Little One said.
"Look upon me again," the old man said.
Then Little One looked, and as he looked, the
lesson shown him by the willow tree filled his heart.
"I see an aged man in sacred clothing,"
Little One said, "The fluttering down of the
eagle adorns his head. I see you, my grandfather.
I see an aged man with the stem of the pipe between
his lips. I see you, my grandfather.
Your are firm and rooted to the earth like the
ancient willow. I see you standing among the
days that are peaceful and beautiful.
I see you, my grandfather. I see you standing
as you will stand in your lodge, my grandfather."
The ancient man smiled. Little One had seen truly.
"My young brother," the old man said,
"your mind is fixed upon the days that are
peaceful and beautiful." And then he was gone.
Now Little One's heart was filled with peace,
and as he walked into the village, his mind
was troubled no longer with those questions
about the meaning of life.
For he knew that the old man he had seen
was himself. The ancient man was Little One
as he would be when he became an elder,
filled with that great peace and wisdom
which would give strength to all of the people.
From that day on, Little One began to spend
more time listening to the words his elders spoke,
and of all the young men in the village,
he was the happiest and the most content.