Once upon a time, I was not yet “Little Monk”… I was simply “Little”. I first awoke in darkness and I was afraid. I don’t know why I was afraid… I just was. And in my fear I would not, could not, move. I just lay there, still, eyes closed… quiet.
But then I heard voices around me, friendly voices, peaceful voices, comforting and loving voices…
They said, “Little, do not be afraid. Here, take our hands, stand, rise up and walk…” And so I did…
After a while, I felt around at things, learned that these voices (I learned to call them “friends”) meant me no harm. They meant me only good. I learned I could trust them, that they would not hurt me. I explored everything around me, by hearing and touch.
But then one day, my friends said, “Little, open your eyes. Look around. Discover your life, your world.”
Again, I was afraid. This would be very daring, very different. I feared hurt. I feared… I don’t even know what, I just feared.
But my friends said, “We will be with you. You will come to no harm. Trust us.”
So… timidly… fearfully… I opened my eyes…
And I could SEE! O… My… what Wonders! Imagine, blind since birth, and now I could SEE!
It was nighttime, but yet the stars! The stars were SO Beautiful. They gave forth Light! Who could imagine this?
I could see my home, our hillside, this monastery I was sheltered in. I could see… I could see FACES! I could SEE my FRIENDS! They smiled at me… they embraced me with joy! They… they LOVED me… and now I could SEE that! What wonder! I learned more that I could trust to the voices of my friends. I came to see them as my “brethren”.
But THEN… (you may not believe this)… but THEN the MOON came out! The Light of It! No words… My joy overcame me. I could see for MILES! I could see beyond our hill, across plains and valleys, and just barely make out OTHER hills, and perhaps even something beyond that! I gasped with the sheer overpowering wonder and joy of it all.
I began to laugh and to dance and to cry all at the same time. I grabbed onto my brethren and dragged them out to the clear hillside to share in the wonder of the vista and view. You, Gentle Reader, would have thought me mad to see this, but it is just a leaping of heart I cannot describe.
My brethren laughed with me, danced with me, wept with me… sharing my joy and my wonder. It was an amazing time. A time I yet enter into now and again… for time is very “wibbley wobbley” on the hillside of my monastery.
But as I caught my breath, panting in joyful recovery, my brethren said, “You are no longer just ‘Little’. Welcome among us, now ‘Little Monk.'”
And I understood… it wasn’t a matter of where I was from, or what I had learned, or what I did. It was simply a matter of what I could see and understand. And one other thing…
I was no longer afraid. Not of anything. I could SEE, and my brethren embraced me and I them. Oh, pain may come or go, I could bark my shins or fall or anything… but I could TRUST… and that meant everything was, and would be, all right. I had nothing left to fear, for I could SEE! Even in this ever night, illumined by nothing but moon and stars… I could SEE and I could trust.
And then… one incredible day… the brethren came to me and said, “Little Monk, we want to show you something you’ve not yet seen, and it will amaze and delight you.” They reached out their hands to me, and trusting them utterly, I followed their lead.
They walked eastwards, and pointed at the farthest ridge of mountains there…
O, Gentle Reader… there was a Glow there! It was the most incredible thing… totally indescribable. I have lived this entire life in the blue and purple hues of moonlight and starlight, and that has been wondrous. But there… there to the East… there was the coming of Dawn.
New colors, new radiance, a promise of brilliance so far beyond my imaginings as a mountain is to a grain of sand. O… My… Word. I looked about us, and found that many monks, many brethren, just sat on this western hillside gazing in love at that growing glow. For a quite long time, I did so myself…
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We now go on about our affairs, take care of one another and others in the love of this twilight of stars and moon. We dance, we sing, we embrace, we eat and feed others, and we love in trust and without fear. This is a wondrous and wonderful life.
But deep within, at least, my own heart… I gaze eastward. I see that growing glow of the coming Dawn. I can nearly feel its warmth and can only imagine its brilliance. I know, I absolutely KNOW, that when Dawn comes… when the Sun (as the brethren have spoken of) breaks above the horizon… that it will be more marvelous than I can possibly imagine or speak of.
And within me, I wonder as I look about this life… Once the Sun rises in Dawn… When the promise of that Light and Radiance touches me… WHAT will I be able to SEE then?
We all wait together, embraced and anticipating with breathless love and trust…