Short Story by Richard J. Williams
was one of the first from my family to hear
the higher call, and
to heed that call, going forth when just a youth, to search for meaning.
I was a lad of eighteen with long dark hair.
I will never forget the day when I first thought about taking up the wandering life. I was standing under the old oak tree. We had gathered for our family reunion. My cousin had just returned from one of her many travels, and as I listened to her talk, I asked myself: should I too, dedicate my life to seeking?
A life dedicated to seeking?
|From that day I began
a personal search for truth. I
sought out all the teachers I could.
Like some kind of parapatetic Socrates, I was seeking one wise man. I searched all the four corners of this great land. Traveling hither and yon, I contemplated nature, and ceaseless change. Adopting the uniform of the holy, naked, I prayed. Alone on a mountain, I sat facing a wall, muttering my mantras and fingering my beads. I ate brown rice, in small amounts and always before noon.
Many years passed. My hair and beard turned gray. I became weary and longed for comfort. I decided to return to the land of my birth. It had been a long time since I had seen my old home.
When I returned, I returned to an Awakening!
This town has grown into a veritable city, crowded with industry and commerce. Many things have changed, but the old oak tree is still here. When I again gazed up at that old tree I realized how long my search had taken and how little wisdom I had obtained for all my effort.
As I stood there, I had a profound flash of insight that has changed my life. I realized that Time is the highest Reality. Time is Reality! I realized what a wonderful thing we have in Time. There is no need to go searching for it; everyone already has it. There is nothing you can say about it, because it is beyond words. Time has become my metaphor.
Some say that awakening can only be found in solitude, quiet darkness. I found it in mid-afternoon on the corner of rush-hour traffic! I am telling you my story because I think I can save you a lot of trouble. If you come to my house, you can leave all your troubles behind; we will have plenty of Time, to sit on the porch, and watch the moon climb over the mountain.