(Oops! Missed a bit.)
Read this many years ago. Presume it’s from the Sufi tradition of teaching stories.
Years ago, a young backpacker set off travelling to new places.
Arriving in an distant city, he learned that a famous sage was speaking that night in the great hall. The young man decided to go along. An audience of over a thousand people heard the sage talk and many were as inspired as he was. They gathered outside in the square to talk late into the night about what they had heard and to plan their future.
Over the next two days, the traveller asked everyone he met how he might meet the sage in person. Three days later, he was taken to the place where the man had lived all his life. He rang the bell tentatively.
Stepping in the doorway, the young man noticed the home’s bare walls and basic furniture. The sage came forward and greeted him warmly. Together they sat by the fire to drink tea and talk.
After some hours, the traveller stood to thank his elder and bid him farewell. His host was curious to know what was had surprised him the most.
“You are so famous. People shower you with gifts. I expected you to live in grand style. ”
“You arrived with only a backpack!” retorted the sage.
“Yes, but I am only passing through,” muttered the young man.
“So am I,” replied his host.
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PS. And then there’s the song a Canadian teacher sang to me on the verandah of the Migrant Hostel in 1975 – the chorus is stuck in my mind.
“Passing through, Passing through, … Glad that I ran into you, Tell the people that you saw me passing through.”
Google now tells me it was written by Richard Blakeslee and sung by Pete Seeger! … Learn something new every day!
Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License