Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Saint and the Old Man by the sea

The Saint, wise and holy, had travelled far and wide.
Across lands, atop mountains and along lonely tides,
coaching and helping people with sermons of love and kindness,
the poor, the dying and the lost souls, he would care for and bless.

He is old and greying now after devoting a lifetime to the suffering and the needy
With no family or close friends, he wore his old age with dignity.
He decided he would make his last stand by the shores of a rough sea.
And when death beckons, he would pass away silently.

He made his home there and everyday, he would listen to the sound of the waves,
and the roar of the distant thunderstorm and the steady calling of the graves.

One day on the shore, he met an old man sitting on the rock alone,
smoking his pipe and humming a song, while carving skillfully on a stone.

"Hello my man! how are you today?", he asked.
the man replied, "As always, carefree, gay and occupied with some task."
"Have you had a good life so far?"
"Oh yes! I was a sailor and I sailed the 7 seas,
and have traveled the world like the sun and stars."

"But have you cared for people and helped the folks around you?"
"My one captain always said 'Every man for himself' and I have known it to be true."
The Saint shook his head sadly and said "So you have done nothing worthwhile."
"Never comforted a hungry child or offered a dying man a smile"
"That must be difficult for you to live by."
"Without a kind word or a deed, we are nothing you and I."

The sailor stared at the saint and then at his hands and said
"My whole life I have been at sea",
"But no regrets I have met. I am as happy as can be"
"I fished in the trawler once and gave my catch to a poor market for free"
"I have journeyed accross the Atlantic thrice, carrying biscuits, fruits and tea"
"I have saved a few dolphins once, from a deadly oil spill"
"and a child from the ocean water chill."

"I once met a beautiful girl and married her by a beach at sunset,"
"And loved her and our son, till that frightful storm cause their early demise."
"I then waged war with the weather as I sailed into the lands unknown."
"Discovered islands and gave them their names, as I continued to mourn."

"The years went by and then One sunset, I saw a fish struggle for freedom in the fishing net."
"I then decided that I would set myself free - from grief, humanity, misery and sorrow"
"And that I will live life like there is no tomorrow."

"I scrounged the sea for riches and I found treasures beyond belief,"
"As if the Gods themselves were giving me relief."
"I also realized that God exists and that an image of God I could see,"
"In the eyes of a baby whale and in the beauty of the sea."
"I await my death now, at peace and completely carefree."

The Saint was shocked. He had no idea of this sort of happiness.
"What did you do with the treasure my friend?"
"I gave to the town and to the widows of the sea"
"So that fortune may smile on them like she smiled on me."

The Saint smiled and sat by him,
Two old men silently looking at the unending sea,
both having lived their life to their satisfaction,
and waiting for death, happily.


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