Kipwil's favourite place was the river. It was peaceful there, not silent, just comforting and peaceful there under the gum trees. She loved hearing a thousand different types of birds chittering, singing, squawking their songs to each other, seeing the little rabbits early in the morning, running with their white bottoms winking away, watching the ducks glide and dive on the water. It was....joyous, being in the midst of so much life and business but being comletely still inside. Kipwil thought about how she had been feeling, comparing it to how she felt near the river while she talked to Queen Mish. I need to bring this joy and contentment with me everywhere I go, but I can't just pack up the river in my bag! I need to find this joy in my life. But where?
Kipwil walked along the river's edge, enjoying the sun on her skin. She noticed a wooden sign up ahead she'd never seen before. The sign read in a crude black letters :
Curious, Kipwil wandered along the path in the direction the sign was pointing. After going through some thick undergrowth, she came across a hole in the river bank, just her size for her to walk into comfortably. At the entrance, there was a little man, all made of rock, sitting as still as a statue.
" Hello?" Kipwil asked tentatively.
" You have found the Mine of Need. You may enter. You can mine as much as you like but make sure it is what you need and take only what you need." said a rough gravelly voice slowly from the Stone Man. Having finished this strenuous speech, he settled back into stillness.
Kipwil entered cautiously, her way being lit by glowing stones attached to the roof of the tunnel. What do I need? thought Kipwil and then the answer struck her.....she needed nuggets of joy to hold on to when things were getting hard! Something to remember that it wasn't always this bad, that life can be and will be and IS good.
She began hunting around, finding a little glimmer here and a nugget there. She carefully removed these Joys and stored them in a bag she found in the tunnel. A nugget of snuggling under a quilt while the rain beats on a tin roof, a glimmer of the scent of a campfire in the early morning. The feel of a cuddle from her children, the elation at finishing a hard race. The breeze as she ran along the river or sitting reading by candlelight with soft music. Sun on her skin and the scent of jasmine in the air. All joys. Laughing until you are about to pass out, dancing in the night with friends without a care in the world, the scent and feel of fresh sheets on the bed, playing the violin and being swept up in the music...joy joy joy joy. Kipwil captured these feelings, the scents, the sights, the sounds and placed them in a treasure box of her own.
The discoveries went on...walking on the beach at dusk, watching a sunset from the rocks. Having her hair brushed or watching the full moon rise or the feel of her cats lying on her lap, feeling how strong she was becoming after every workout, feeling how her muscles moved as she ran, rode, swam.....the smell of coffee on a cold morning, a cup of tea in the garden, being told she had done a good job......
Kipwil realised very few of her joys involved eating. She also realised she had a lot more to love in her life than she thought. She slowly left the Mine of Need, turning to say thank you to the Stone Man.
" When you need, it will be here. Take what you need when you need and only what you need." he intoned solemnly and lasped back into silence.
Kipwil smiled and walked back along the path, the weight of her joys making the day brighter and her heart lighter than she had felt for a long time. She saw a Red Flag in the distance and knew it meant a challenge coming up but she felt ready and able to meet it. And crush it into the ground.
What is the red flag challenge coming up for Kipwil? Will her joys sustain her to the end? Learn more in future episodes.
Many thanks to Kath from Courage to Start for this weeks blog challenge