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The Wretch and A Tree of Life

A wretched sly man got himself in a quiet place.

He was at the end of his rope, exhausted by hunger and life’s injustice. 

He sat down there …

… with nothing but a solitary tree.

The tree was full of life, rejoicing, and listening to everything around it.

Winter was at the end of her reign, and spring was about to open its imaginary door at any moment. 

The Man was calmed down by the silent peace …

… and his lamentation went out.

“I’m hungry, but why am I hungry? And why do I have nothing to eat? What I have done to suffer so much? 

Why doesn’t anyone care about me?” 

He was moaning there to himself.

The tree was listening to him in deep silence …

… with grace to his open words so it could understand life from a new perspective of his experience.

The wretch realized that he was feeling much better after a while … 

… he stood up

… and left.

He keeps coming back into silence every single day …

… to sit there

… and to complain loudly.

The peace was embracing him, but he still wanted to blame something, someone. 

Those were days of his truth which were seen and appreciated.

Spring slowly started taking the land out of winter’s hands.

The tree of life turned green in all its glory and began to bear fruit very early in that time.

One day the wretch came back and the divine fruits of the Tree of Life were ready for him.

No one knew this fruit far and near.

The wretched man mindlessly took one of them and bit into it.

… once

… twice.

He hardly noticed how his body was embraced by nurturing love.

His guts were full of delicious feelings, but he wasn’t aware of that and started to keen again.

“I can’t satisfy my hunger, I can’t satisfy my thirst!  

Where are all those ‘help-your-neighbour’ preachers? 

Where are all the hypocrites and fools.” he berated and furiously waved with his hand.

He wasn’t aware of his transformation that had already started. His body was more in tune, and inner flow began to move.

His inner mountains which were everything that he could see until then, were falling down and his eyes started to get the courage to look on the land in front of him.  

He still couldn’t see the disappearing snow and the little islands of the first spring plants around him.

He couldn’t even see the green tree of life behind him, producing the fabled nourishment.

He returned after a week …

and there were again two of those divine gifts for him.

He picked one of them without thinking, sat down, and started to look around with a sharp look of bitterness.

The image of flat, empty land triggered him.

His anger came out as it was stronger. He lost the manner of controlling himself. 

The blaming happened again.

He felt relieved and he threw the rest of the fruit away without any thanks or appreciation. 

The body of this man was satisfied and happy, but his mind was under the influence of smoke shadow.

The eyes were free of that war and he could be aware of parts of grassland in front of him.

His heart started to notice that beauty and guided him more into his presence.

The ability to focus was stronger…  

… and he, for the first time, saw the tree of life. 

The garnet red apples glistened in the sun.

 He plucked one of this fruit.

“Finally, why it took so long!”, he spat out.

His health renews.

He was more present and he allowed himself to raise his head so his eyes could see the blueness of the sky …

… and, for a moment, his mind felt at peace.

“I’m alive!”, he shouted out from that alive moment.

His heart pounded with joy from this sudden insight, and he started to look over all the beauty he could see.

“What shall we do now?”, appeared in the mind.

The confusion in a small corner of the man’s mind took on  a new dynamic. A shape, a form that has its roots in control and owning …

… man’s heart started to beat faster as he didn’t want to suffer in his future anymore. 

The pressure of fear squished him again.

The fear started to move quickly…

..  and his mind started to spin…

.. fear and panic were the instruments for this emotional dance that he sensed.

The fruit on the branch was what his eyes were locked on.

The shadow started to project …

…the visions of a warm comfy room, with enough food, drinks, and the company of people filled up his mind …  

.. all that society can provide for him ..

.. just for a couple of coins.

His eyes got a new glare as he sensed  a satisfaction in those changing images…

… and the band of chaos stopped.

The confusion let be calmed by mind’s nature and ..

… this form of compass lead the man to fulfill those visions…

… to find a peace that is within the heart.

Divine gifts were transformed quickly into a list of items that would help him fulfill this vision. 

He carefully picked the priceless gift. 

Hid it and ran as fast as he could to the nearest village with a market.

His mind started to worry him again as he was closer to the village.

„What if nobody has any interest in this apple?!“

„What then I will do? I need it to sell it cheap.“

The divine fruit was silently singing in his bag, and it continued while it was lying on the old scarf covered over an old dirty box.

Everyone felt something magical about that apple, but their minds were full of doubts.

“Why the price of this unusual fruit is so low, is it possible that it is poisonous!?“, were they thinking.

The man felt worried about selling cheap when he saw so many people around.

He was thankful that nobody bought it and moved to a new spot that was far away from the previous one.

There was an old empty barrel that he covered with his coat and he put the fruit there as a mysterious master of magic.

He put his bait out…

 and waited.

He pretended no interest at all but was still full of hope that anyone would appear soon.

He didn’t need to wait for long. A young boy with a beardless face was looking at the apple as a miracle, that it surely was.

His innocent heart was pounding as the divine presence within the fruit started to resound his joy for life.

He couldn’t resist and reached his hand towards it. 

„Don’t touch!!! … Young boy!!! This is a very rare and expensive apple! … Do you understand!!!“, shouted the man.

The youth within the boy froze so fast as the self-discovered merchant appeared in front of him so quickly.

„It is all right, It is all right my friend, All is good“, he said to comfort him.

„I will tell you its secret, if you want?“, he whispered foxily and put his arm around his shoulders

The face of young boy started to wonder about this offer and there were more and more people coming to see what was going on there.

The smile of the merchant went wider as he saw suddenly a lot of potential customers..

The excitement of that situation flipped the price of his apple to new value.

„You don’t need to ask for more, my friend. Don’t push any further on me … I will tell you its story.“, he said loudly to get the attention.

He started to speak and wove  the story of the apple through the wild imaginary land of his greed in his small shadow mind’s corner and finished it by …

 „.. and the honored alchemist of king’s health gave this rare fruit to me as a gift… and because I feel healthy and need a place to stay it is for sale to anyone who wants to get his health back.“ 

The crowd started to shout out numbers and the price went higher than he could dream of.

The deal was made and he felt amazement from it. 

He could see his reflection of himself in the eyes of the people around and he was proud, so proud.

The confusion, the smoke in mind  brought something new for him, something intoxicating that filled him up and it felt so good.

He could buy new clothes. 

He started visiting the lonely sacred place where was standing one joyful tree every day.

Two of the brightest apples waited always there for him …

. . and he was putting them into his bag with all the care he had.

Somewhere in the shadow, the wheel of prices started to spin.

He wasn’t aware of the gap, and separateness from the scent of fresh nature and its beauty that were all over the land he walked by.

The images of wealth were manifesting, and he felt good. 

He slept in better and better rooms and ate more delicious meals. One day he realized the fear again …

… “Two apples are not enough to live well”, so he started to urge the Tree of Life to bring more forth so he could endow his lifestyle.

„Give me more dear tree. I’m hungry and I feel fear that I will not satisfy my hunger as it needs to be, or I will suffer again“

The divine being of the tree listened to him with compassion.

The merchant saw three new apples the other day.

The mind strengthened the vision of wealth and the fear was gone.

He didn’t enjoy this moment for so long.  

„The people will appreciate you much more now“, urged him his sly mind.

„Yes, yes they will..“,he agreed.

„They will beg me to sell it to them“, he babbled.

He was seeing a vision of an amazing palace and tables full of a variety of meals and drinks, men and women that were always near when he needed something.

“There will be enough of everything. Everything..!!”, he screamed out.

He plucked the fruits carefully and put them in the bag.

He went furtively on the way to the small city where he lived now. He felt fear with every step of how the bounce could harm the goods.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t aware of the harm that he was doing to his human condition.

He earned a huge pile of gold coins on that day.

So he could rent a whole new house in the city with the housekeeper and own an empty garden. 

„I’m doing well“, he said to himself

The place within started to feel lonely and the loneliness wanted to take a hand of something warm and real, but there was no heart near to him. Even his own was not part of all of this.

His mind was spinning images of what he still needed to fulfill, and mainly how many fruits he would need to sell to provide that.

He didn’t have any control over that.

This nightmare was somewhere behind all of his plans and wishes.  

He wasn’t happy that he as an honorable merchant was selling just three apples per day. 

It wasn’t supporting his influence on the city market enough. 

„Hey Tree … “, he started as a negotiator of the market.

„There is an interest in your gifts, but there is not enough of them …“, he continued.

His tone of voice was calm and steady, but deep in his soul were unpleasant feelings that he was forced to say such a silly demand aloud.

“I’ll say it as briefly as possible. Just more apples… Four .. NO! FIVE!”, he blurted out bossily.

A warbler was singing in the tree.

The wind flew along the leaves with playful joy…

… and tree, …

… it was happily standing in the warming beams of light.

It had everything that it needed for its aliveness, so it was listening to this being that was evolving in the way he wished for.

The blissfulness of the moment was in touch with everything all around and it wanted the man to have the same.

There were five beautiful apples on the branches when the man came again.

Three red and …

… two green ones.

The delighted man rubbed his palms over it. 

Everything worked just fine. 

Sly man, got the face of a rat.

His hands were shaking as he knew he was holding his fortune in his hands right now. He tried to secure them as much as he could. 

He even made sure not to damage the branches on which they had been sown.

The tree noticed that with appreciation. 

“A change”, it whispered to the wind with a smile.

The frightened man checked the bag once more and furtively looked around to see if there was anyone else who could see him.

It was a crazy idea that arose after months of going there.

This lonely place could not be found on regular trails.

Although …

… sometimes, someone wandered here.

Was it even possible, or did life itself guide him to find this place on purpose?

The man felt happy and surprisingly he said goodbye to the place.

Something changed in him.

His emotions started to flow.

He couldn’t recognize this new sensation.

This new experience of a touch of blessing.

He recalculated the price of goods again to give him a chance to move to a bigger city and fulfill of his new dreams.

New clothes that will show his importance to new people and luxury, more luxury that he will never suffer again.

The next day was different.

He arrived at this peaceful place full of anger. 

Although he had completely new clothes and did not suffer from hunger. He even rented a nice luxury place where he could relax and spend time.

But… 

… he wasn’t as happy as he thought he would be. 

He sold cheaper than he expected, and he spent more money than he wanted.

The suppressed feelings found their way out and he started to yell:

„I have to make disadvantageous trades, the interest of your apples go down. Fruit something different, new, magical. 

Something that pulls people in and they will pay the price that I decide!“

He was outrageous, fear and anxiety gripped him with overwhelming force and he shouted and ordered.

The wheel of suffering appeared in the land of rat influence. 

Its whispering words of urging were pulling him down. The tree was the only one who could stop the coming disaster.

His face was grey and he left without turning back.

He said what he needed to relieve himself and it was on the tree to put it back in order.

The mood around the tree changed.

The flow was full of emotions.

If it had eyes, it would weep over the weight of human fate.

The tree was still with the flow and with the shift that arose.

It cared and sang a new song, a new lullaby.

The man was thoughtlessly wandering through the city for several days. The grey feelings were all over his head.

He had a big luxury house, food more than enough so while he would give it to people around, the whole city would celebrate for several weeks…

… but the joy of life was gone …

… sadness, pain, and guilt were the only ones he noticed in those days. 

There wasn’t any activity he could do, any trick near to him to let this veil of emptiness disappear.

Finally, he found himself wandering the countryside and entering the sacred place with a lone tree.

He saw ten unknown fruits.

His heart was beating very fast.

„IS IS TRUE?!, IT IS true??.. I‘m loved!“, he screamed happily.

He thankfully took just a few of them and he set himself on a new trip.

His heart was full of new hope and inspiration.

He went far as this new unknown feeling filled him up, and he allowed to listen to it as the tree of life was listening to him.

After several days of miles behind, he came to a small village, with no market, just a well, tree, and bench.

He sat down in the shade and arranged three new fruits on a white clean scarf. 

We can call them pears, but they weren’t actually pears.

He cut one of them into pieces and distributed them to curious children who were already around him. 

His smile went wide and his heart started to beat while excitement filled up their eyes.

Again he felt the coolness of the wind and the magic of children’s fire.

One of the boys brought his mother there.

The woman’s body showed him her hard work around her farm. Her eyes were full of worries about their future as she was left alone.

He knew those feelings very well.

He was a stranger to her and he kindly put one pear into her hands to find a love again. 

His deep eyes were calming her and he silently urged her not to be afraid and to take a bite.

He wanted nothing from her …

Only one thing…

… to see the smile on her face and the same enthusiasm that her son already had.

The woman took a bite and the worries in her body were gone.

She didn’t smiled wide

There was only one tear running down her face, and she knew that her care for her son and the farm had the same taste.

She hugged her son tight and they cried silently together with gratitude for each other and life.

The  man was gone when they turned back.

His heart full of peace set him on another journey to meet life.

Petr Lyo

I as a boy wanted to use creativity as a healing tool for my traumas, to have a voice that I can lean on, to create and express myself through it.

At 42 years of age, I wanted to enter an English-speaking, 6-month course with a writing coach. So I decided to finally learn English to have some content we can talk and cooperate together with. My intention to start using English solely for Creative Spiritual expression holds for me an innocent vehicle that my own native language has lost. Writing in Czech holds some historical wounded perspective that keeps me in a field of ashamedness and needs to follow some rules that didn’t follow my heart’s perspective. 

Photo credits: Tree of Life by Emma Gossett on Unsplash; Hands in Water by Kahfiara Krisna on Unsplash; Universe by Greg Rakozy greg-rakozy-oMpAz-DN-9I-unsplash.

creative expression, ESL, life lessons, metaphor, Nature, parable, spiritual stories, transformation

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