You, who walk this Land, do you know that which is beneath your feet & that which is above your head & the Space In-Between? You may have some knowledge of what is under your feet & above your head. But do you know your Self? You only think you know your Self. Even I do not know my True Self. And then there's that other Space In-Between, that left by those who have gone before, your ancestors. Those who sowed the Seeds, those who brought Life into existence through time across this Earth, & to come to you here Now.
How far can you travel your own Tree of Life down to your very Roots? You are like a leaf, from bud to Fall, your life is short compared to that of the Tree. Remember those who have fallen before you so you may have Life, for you too, will be an ancestor one day, with your progeny moving across the Earth sowing their Seed & bringing forth new Life.
Now I have a yarn to weave for you. In my many wanderings & weavings across this Land, I have created many tapestries, one I still carry. It concerns a young lad just 14 Suns old. I was just as young & playing with some friends on the 'Neck of the Swan', a hill near where I lived which stuck out into the marsh. Whilst we were larking about, we saw a ship, its sails furled, being rowed up the river to the jetty on the east side of the hill. My friends ran down the other side to the track that led to our village, I started to follow when I heard a girl's laughter come from the boat & decided to take a closer look.
There were a number of people on-board, the crew, a couple of men who looked like traders, two young women & a lad about my age. One of the women was having fun with one of the traders & the lad was watching, then he turned & looked up, right into my eyes, the smile that hit me made me stagger backwards, it was too much. The Sun shone out of that lad's eyes, he waved & beckoned to the jetty, I waved back & ran down to meet him. Who was this stranger? He had black hair & an olive skin, the others on-board were alike, though when I got to the jetty I saw one of the women had black skin. I had never seen a black man before let alone a black woman, & she was stunning. It was she who played with the trader, she was so wrapped up against the cold that I hadn't noticed the colour of her skin.
The lad climbed out first & shouting to one of the men in a language I didn't understand, came running towards me, he stumbled & fell, no land legs yet, he let his body roll & came upright feet together, hands open in greeting right in front of me. I was so surprised I began to laugh, he grabbed my hand & pulled me back up the hill, running & laughing all the way to the top. From our vantage point we watched, as villagers poled their craft to the ship & the traders began to deal their wares & buy ore from our menfolk.
Language was not a problem between us, we were two teenage boys having fun climbing trees, we ran & played all afternoon. I took him to my favourite Oak, it had a large hole where it had been struck by lightning & we climbed inside, getting covered in wet ash in the process. We came out looking blacker than the woman. The trader the boy had spoken to, called him, he waved back, turned to me & held my hands. He looked into my eyes & saw my spirit & my spirit leaped high, he gave me a hug & ran down to the vessel. I sat & cried as they sailed down the river to the sea.
It was dark when I went back across the marsh to the village. I had met someone who knew his Self & now he also knew my Self. What was his name? I had forgotten.
Some eighteen Suns later, I had just returned to my village after my travels through the land & heard that traders were approaching, some of the villagers took to their boats & the rest, along with myself, took to the track & ran. When I got to the jetty I saw that it was the trader, who had brought my faraway friend all those years ago, yet in all those years he was always with me. As the trader climbed out onto the jetty I saw he looked sad & went to meet him. We clasped hands & I asked after my friend, how was he, what was he doing these days? The trader's eyes filled with tears, & placing an arm around my shoulder he led me away from the rest & up the hill. At the top he sat down heavily on the grass, motioning me to sit beside him. He held my hands as he began to tell me about his nephew &, as it turned out, his short life.
When he told me of the manner of his nephew's death I screamed with rage, he held me close & I broke down crying my heart out. How could his people do that? His own Elders had him killed. Why? They did it because they did not know themselves & saw in him a threat because not only did he know his Self he also knew theirs so they had to get rid of him to maintain power over their tribe.
The trader reached into his satchel & brought out a round wooden box made of Sandalwood, that had been simply but beautifully carved, the lid bore a wonderful design of a five-petaled rose. He handed it to me with great reverence & asked if I would inter it the land where I felt it right. I asked what it was, he told me it came from his nephew, his body had been interred in his own land but this came off of his body before it was sealed up.
A shout came from down the hill; one of the crew was calling to tell him they were ready to sail. The trader stood up slowly, holding onto his staff for balance, when I was upright we embraced, tears still in our eyes. He handed me his satchel to put the box in & so no one would see it & ask questions. With that he turned & walked down the path to the jetty, swinging his staff before him. He had said he hoped our paths would cross again, but when he left that day I knew we would not meet again, for I walked a different path.
The next Dark Moon I buried the box in the roots of the blasted Oak, where my friend & I had first met & played.
My friend's name, the Arimathaean told me , was Yesu ben Yusuf, & in the box, a blooded Crown of Thorns.
Some years later, when I came back from my Brothers' Isle, I found a thorn tree growing where I had buried the box. There must have been some seeds on the Crown & as the box decayed a seed had germinated. Since then I have heard many tales about how Yusuf had planted his staff & it had grown. Yes, I had seen Yusuf plant his staff, it happened that first time, when I met Yesu. Yusuf had taken the black lady to the top of the hill, or had she taken him, either way, his staff got well & truly planted. They certainly enjoyed the planting, & so did Yesu & I, we were up in the Oak looking down on them, two lads learning the facts of life.
So, in casting off the thread, how often are you aware of the Land beneath your feet & the sky above your head & are you aware of your Self, truly aware? I have come to see that the more aware I become the more I see myself in others, warts & all. Most folks don't like other people seeing their shadow-side because people tend to run away from their own shadows; they will not stand in the light & face them. And because of this they are unbalanced. Remember, Spirit/Self is neither Light nor Dark, it just Is. You could say that it is the Space between all Life, it touches all Life & passes through all Life & is all Life. In its Oneness it is complete.
Even now, in the 21st. century, there is still turmoil in the land where Yesu came from. War between tribes & between beliefs has been going on there for years. The two governments have no respect for each other because one sets itself above the other. Have neither understood the teachings of Yesu or Mohammed, peace be upon him. Of course not, not with this tit for tat taking of innocent lives that we see. Neither prophet condoned murder in his teaching. At this time of year the two tribes should look to their own prophet's pure thoughts. And come to know their own roots, for when all is said & done they are Brothers.